Step up your ironing game with a new tailor’s ham. Whether you are pressing collared work shirts or a fan of garment sewing, a tailor’s ham is a practical tool to have at your ironing station. A tailor’s ham is a tightly stuffed, shaped pillow used when pressing curved areas of clothing, such as darts, sleeves, cuffs, collars, or hip curves. Tailor’s hams are readily available wherever you get your sewing supplies, but you can also easily make your own with fabric scraps.
Sturdy materials are key when creating a tailor’s ham. Typically you will have two fabric layers and a filling. The outer layer should be able to handle moisture from steam and a good deal of heat, Wool is common option for this layer. Muslin or cotton works well for the inner layer as it also handles heat well and has a tight weave to hold in the stuffing. Speaking of stuffing, sawdust or wood shavings are the most common fillers, but fabric scraps and wool roving are good alternatives. You’ll want to really pack in the filling to create a stiff surface for pressing.