Ironing boards have been around for many years. They came into usage back when irons were cast iron and heated in the coals of a fireplace. The first ironing boards were wooden, according to Made How, and were set up on four wooden legs. Modern ironing boards are metal with many other improvements, and can be easily collapsed and stored.
On an ironing board, the top layer of material that comes in contact with clothing and the iron is the cover. Covers come in all colors and patterns. They are treated to be heat proof or heat resistant, which is important for safety reasons.
Underneath the cover lies the padding, which gives body to the surface of the ironing board. This padding can be made of cotton fibers, synthetic fibers or a thin layer of foam.
The structural part of the ironing board top is the face. This is constructed of metal and often has patterns of many holes across the surface to help keep the ironing board face cool. Typically, it is broad at one end and tapered at the other for ironing small sections of garments such as shirt sleeves or pant legs.
Legs and Mechanical Latches
The legs of an ironing board are made of hollow metal and fold up flat alongside the face. The push of a simple, small lever undoes the latch, causing the ironing board to collapse into a flat, storage-efficient unit.
Modern ironing boards may have one or more extra features. Some provide a special dock for laying the iron down safely and a vertical pole for holding the cord out of the way. Another useful accessory is a clothing bar for hanging garments as they are pressed.
Small ironing boards are made for traveling or for small living quarters and have fewer parts. Some fold up into a shallow cabinet and have a hinge mechanism for taking the ironing board down and putting it away.