Businesses found that staff could learn to use this equipment in less time than it took to develop the skills to operate a scissor press.

But finishers are often unaware of the range of ironing techniques that can be used on tables. Many rely solely on using steam and vacuum simultaneously. While this produces a satisfactory standard on some fabrics, on others it can leave impression marks or even damage the fabric. On certain fabrics this technique will fail to remove creases and wrinkles.

Finishers should always remember that the volume of steam can be regulated on most steam irons. This is important when finishing delicate fabrics and the high quality lightweight wools used in designer suits, which usually need minimal steam.

Steam-heated irons operate at low heat and below a cool iron temperature (110C). If these irons are used with vacuum, it isn’t always possible to remove faults such as retained wear creases.

The creases must first be steam ironed without vacuum so the temperature is raised, then ironed with the vacuum to set the finish.

Low temperature is a limiting factor when finishing cellulosics such as linen. If the finish on cellulosics is unsatisfactory, try applying a light mist of water, followed by ironing and vacuum, or iron with steam followed by vacuum. When ironing high quality lightweight wools, reduce the volume of steam.