Ironing is the use of a heated tool, an iron, to remove wrinkles from fabric. Ironing works by loosening the bonds between the long-chain polymer molecules in the fibers of the material. Some fabrics, such as cotton, require the addition of water to loosen the intermolecular bonds. The first known use of heated metal to “iron” clothes is known to have occurred in China. The electric iron was invented in 1882, by Henry W. Seeley. Seeley patented his electric flatiron"on June 6, 1882 – U.S. Patent no. 259,054.