A clothes iron (or simply iron) is a small appliance that, when heated, is used to remove creases from clothing. It is named after the metal (iron) from which it was historically made, and its use is commonly referred to as ironing, the final step in the process of laundering clothes. Ironing loosens the bonds between the long chains of molecules found in polymer fibre materials. The fibres are stretched by the heat and weight of the ironing plate, and the fabric retains its new shape when cool. Water is required to loosen the intermolecular bonds in some materials, such as cotton.

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