Ironing is our Moonshot

Why we Iron in Public.


Why do we iron, for free, in public?  


A simple question, as befits a simple task — ironing, which is variously defined as a domestic chore, or a low-level commercial service.


We believe  both these definitions are archaic and limiting.


Rather, we believe Ironing should be re-classified as a  “public benefit.”


The true meaning of ironing is revealed only when it is re-defined thus, freeing it from a prison of convention wrongly inherited.


Just as a Barn Raising elevates and socializes the toil of building a building, so it should be with ironing. In re-defining it, we bring forth a new model of social engagement, given freely by collective effort, providing a clear-eyed and appreciable service, beautifying and sensually easing the walks of life we all inhabit together, and thus creating a tangible, elevating, socializing value that has gone heretofore underappreciated.


This is because ironing other people’s clothes for free compounds multiple meanings of service; of humility; of intimacy with another person’s wardrobe, that together connect to the deepest strains of the human experience. From our first clean diaper to final death shroud, we spend life swathed in the rude topography of prepared cloth. Smoothing this cloth is smoothing the fabric of life itself.


For life is rough and tortured. Life is a rumpled suit.


But shall we smooth that suit together; shall we press on freely, shall we serve our fellow beings the small pleasure of a moment’s grace, and so might we heal the world just a bit..

It is for this reason that we iron, in public, for free, forever: To solve one of life’s pressing problems.

Greenpoint Gratitude Tour

(Brooklyn, NY) The Brooklyn Ironers’ Union Local 278 is pleased to announce its first ever tour of North Brooklyn. Join us Tuesdays in January, 9pm-Midnight, at select local bars to have your clothes pressed, free of charge, by certified Journeyman Ironer and Union rep James Hook.

“We are advancing a bold agenda here at the Union, to establish ironing as a public right, as opposed to a private privilege,” notes Hook. “We hope this tour will help raise awareness of Public Ironing—awareness both of the level of craft and the active socialist agenda of the Union, starting right here in North Brooklyn.”  Hook emphasizes his hope that people will take full advantage of the presence of free public ironing to get their clothes pressed, while enjoying the unique and convivial atmosphere of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. “This tour is my way of expressing gratitude for all the people, places, and institutions that have made Greenpoint a wonderful home to me and my family for these past 10 years,” Hook concludes. “Ironing is my way of saying Thanks.”

The tour occurs Tuesday nights from 9pm to Midnight at the following establishments:

  • 1/3: The Diamond (43 Franklin St. @ Calyer)
  • 1/10: Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer st. @ Richardson)
  • 1/17: Le Gamin Cafe (108 Franklin St. @ Noble)
  • 1/24: TBD
  • 1/31: Troost (1011 Manhattan Ave. @ Huron)

Bring items of clothing you wish to have ironed. All articles of clothing will be considered, though Mr. Hook reserves the right to refuse service at will.  This is a free service for the people of North Brooklyn. Music is provided.