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How to Press a Ballet Tutu

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You have just gotten home from ballet class and your daughter is bouncing with joy because her beautiful new costume for the recital is finally here. As you open the bag, her excitement grows and her eyes get wide. Then you pull it out of the bag and think, "Oh no. It looks awful." The beautiful tutu is a crinkled-up mess, and you have no idea how to fix it. This is how most tutus arrive. The most important thing is to put the iron down. Tutus are not "pressed" with an iron but rather with water.

Wet the tutu. In a bathtub or large sink, run warm water over the tutu until the entire garment is completely soaked with water.

Gently shake the tutu to get rid of excess water.

Using the skirt hanger, hang the tutu upside down to dry. The water will weigh the material down and pull out the crinkles while still allowing the tutu to drape properly.


It is very important that the tutu be hung to dry upside down. This will produce a fluffier tutu. If you are unsure which side is right-side up, examine the layers. If the tutu is a "classical" tutu, the short traditional tutus, the bottom layers will be shorter. If the tutu is a "romantic," or long, tutu, the top layer will generally be a softer material such as chiffon, and the bottom layers are often tulle.


  • Never ever place an iron on a tutu. They are made of synthetic material, and even a cool iron will melt right through. If the bodice of the costume is attached to the tutu, check to see that the fabric can be submerged in water before beginning. If it cannot, use a spray bottle to wet only the tutu, or carefully use steam from an iron. If you still have questions about the care of your tutu, ask your child's ballet teacher for guidance.
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