If you want to try your hand at quilting, then a very important piece of equipment that you need to invest in is a quilting iron. Quilters need irons in order to set seams and press out creases or folds in fabric before they can cut into them. You could go as far as to say that a quilting iron is a quilter’s most important piece of equipment because without one they are unable to produce quality quilts.
But what makes a quilting iron good? This article will break down all of the qualities that you need to look for in a quilting iron:
The speed with which your iron heats up is very important. Fast heating is essential when you are looking for an iron for quilting, because you need to press seams as soon as you finish each block. If the iron doesn’t heat up fast, then it won’t be able to do this. With that said, the only reason your iron wouldn’t be able to retain its heat as you went from block to block would be if it had a shut-off time, which most irons do. Fast heating is absolutely essential if the iron you are buying does have an automatic shut off.
Weight is also something that’s worth bearing in mind. While a large iron will probably heat up faster and will be more durable, in the long run, large irons are harder to use and maneuver. It’s also worth remembering that large irons are harder to store, which isn’t great if you don’t have a lot of room at home. Mini-sized irons can still heat up very fast – and are still great for quilting. Maneuverability is a very important quality. If your iron’s too heavy, you won’t be able to freely move it around. Movement flexibility is essential.
The amount of steam your quilting iron produces will impact the length of time that you spend ironing. The more steam that you use, the faster your ironing will be. Steam softens fibers, which means that it helps wrinkles to disappear. If you’re trying to iron without steam, it will be very difficult. An iron’s steam output should be strong, so that it can penetrate multiple layers of fabric, eliminating wrinkles and creases on both sides. Steam output is definitely worth researching when you are looking for an iron. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s product description, where you should find information on this.
Another thing to bear in mind is the iron’s soleplate. There are many types of soleplate, but steel and ceramic are the best. Make sure that you select an iron with a soleplate made from either material. Most agree that steel is best, but ceramic is still very good. The only downside to ceramic soleplates is that they can be very difficult to clean, especially if the fabric gets burned and is stuck to it. Steel soleplates glide, which is why they are much better for quilting. You don’t want your iron’s soleplate to get stuck or jammed.
You need to make sure that any iron you use, whether for quilting or just ironing, has safety features, and is safe to operate. Irons can be very dangerous, as one might expect. This is because they operate at very high temperatures. If you burn yourself on an iron, you could end up in hospital. You could also end up suffering from life-changing injuries or burns. An iron’s safety features should include an anti-drip feature, as well as a sturdy handle.
As already mentioned, movement flexibility is absolutely essential. If your iron isn’t maneuverable, then you won’t be able to use it properly. Well, design is a very important part of your iron’s flexibility, not just size. If your iron’s design is block-shaped, then it won’t glide as efficiently. Your iron’s design should be shaped in a way that makes it easy for you to push it along. It should also not be too heavy, as we have already explained. There are many different types and styles of iron design, so you shouldn’t have difficulty selecting one that’s perfect for you.
When you are searching for an iron, make sure that you read reviews. Reviews will give you a very good idea of how effective and efficient an iron is. If you find consistently bad reviews, then it’s likely a sign that the iron isn’t worth your time and shouldn’t be purchased.
If you’re a quilter, it’s essential that you find the right iron for you. The perfect iron is one that’s flexible, light, heats up fast, and has a high steam output. You won’t be able to quilt effectively if the iron you buy isn’t up to scratch.