It should be robust enough to withstand the pressure put on it by proper ironing (they call it pressing for a reason -- you have to press!)
The ironing surface should be vented so steam can easily pass through the garment and the ironing board. Table are not suitable for pressing, because solid surfaces prevent the flow of steam through the garment.
An iron that produces ample steam
To press a garment, first relax the fibers to release any wrinkles. This is the purpose of steam and why plenty is required to properly press a garment.
A spray bottle for water
Spritzing a garment (especially shirts) before ironing helps further loosen the fibers to enable a crisp press. A spray bottle full of water can be used in lieu of spay starch.
A pressing cloth
One of the tools that a professional tailor uses to
produce soft rolls when pressing is a Pressing Ham. A pressing ham is essentially a tightly stuffed pillow used as a three-dimensional pressing surface for forming collars, waistlines, darts, sleeves, and cuffs. More advanced ironers, such as tailors, use it to press shape into suit jackets.
For home use, it is particularly helpful pressing a nice, natural roll back into one's shirt collar. Since shirts are the majority of what people iron themselves, I consider this a must-have ironing accessory.
Finding the right accessory depends on what you plan to achieve by pressing at home. Discover the fine points on these essential items in our blog posts to come and arm yourself with valuable distinctions that will make your choice most beneficial.