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Garment steamer recommendation?

Li | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hi folks. I’m the moderator over at Cooks Talk and I’m ironing-challenged. I’d like to buy a garment steamer but don’t know what to look for. Can anyone recommend a model that works fast and efficiently?

Central Scrutinizer; Cooks Talk moderator


  1. carolfresia | | #1

    Hi, Li,

    Do you mean a steamer that you use on hanging clothes, like the one we have in the photo studio? Those are excellent for wools and even some linens and such, but if you have things like cotton shirts that are quite crumpled from the wash, a steamer won't do the job. You'll have to bite the bullet and really iron.

    There are so many iron options out there--anyone have a favorite to recommend? I use a Black and Decker that I bought at Target, I think. It's showing signs of mineral build-up because I'm lazy about emptying it every time I've finished with it, but it's still pretty OK.


    1. Li | | #2

      Thanks, Carol!
      Yes, I meant one for use on hanging clothes.
      There are a few on Amazon, but I'm a little suspicious of the recommendations.
      Something like this one:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0000665TE/ref=wl_it_dp/104-7577573-8351118?%5Fencoding=UTF8&coliid=I3SLN95ETEVOTW&v=glance&colid=15GQ0YZZVLI3P

      1. carolfresia | | #3

        Wow! Those testimonials are pretty glowing, aren't they? I never have that kind of experience steaming clothes at photo shoots here--maybe Threads is due for a new steamer! I think a lot of the success in steaming comes from a combination of the quantity of steam you have, and your ability to isolate and subdue the garment or section you're working on. It does help to pull the fabric kind of taut while you're steaming.

        I don't know much more about these things since I've never owned one personally. I'll ask around the office, though, and hopefully one or more of our Gatherings members will weight in as well.


        1. Li | | #4

          The glowing testimonials got me excited, but then I thought, could these be planted from the manufacturer? Most of these people haven't written any other reviews of products on Amazon, so you have to wonder. Thanks for asking around. I look forward to any information you can share!

  2. suesew | | #5

    I have an old jiffy steamer that we use in the costume studio every day and it works great. I don't know what model it is. Even little hand held ones are pretty effective.

    1. rekha | | #6

      I just got Kenneth King's Tailored Jackets in the post and have been skimming through as one does. He uses a gravity-feed industrial Naomoto Hi-Steam HYS-5 iron. Since he is a good tailor I would probably take up on that recommendation.

  3. alotofstitches | | #7

    I use a Rowenta Professional iron and am about to order my 3rd--they keep on heating I just keep knocking them off onto ceramic tile and then they leak!  You'd think I'd learn.  Seriously I bought my first one probably 17 yrs. ago.  Some things just need the iron!  I use it daily both personally and sewing professionally.  Last year I purchased a Rowenta Commercial Garment Steamer, IS-7800 for use with wedding gowns primarily.  It works well on the beaded gowns getting where an iron can't and it does leave a much better finish than an iron.  I had to get cotton gloves to wear because the steam is so hot!  Local bridal shop owner showed me how to steam from underside for best results and garment has to hang to dry.  It is a slow and hot job to steam a wedding gown!  You can use the iron and be dressed and gone quicker than steaming!

    1. Li | | #8

      >>You can use the iron and be dressed and gone quicker than steaming!You don't know how just how ironing-impaired I am, LOL. I supposed it would help if I got myself a decent ironing board. I have an antique wooden one that, while adorable, takes a while (and requires more coordination that I usually have at 7 a.m.) to set up.

  4. fabriclover007 | | #9

    My recommendation is "My Little Steamer" by Joy Mangano.  You can buy it from Home Shopping Network for about $35 or less on ebay if you're adventurous.  It is a little handheld steamer but it puts out steam like you wouldn't believe.  Quick heat up.  I keep it in my bathroom and hang my clothing over the shower rod for a quick touch up in the morning.  No need to drag out the iron.  It steams wools, crepes, refreshes the pleat in pants, can you tell I am a fan?.

    I bought steamer after steamer after steamer and came away disappointed.  None of them did what I needed until I got this one

    After that I like my iron that I bought on ebay for $99.  Separate tank for water and produces vasts amounts of steam.  I used to have problems with putting interfacing on garments, no more with this.  Lightly spritz it (too lazy to preshrink) hold the iron above to steam and shrink, hit it once and it's done.

    1. GinnaS | | #10

      What is the brand and model number of the iron you like so much?  I keep reading on other boards that there is no really good iron.

      1. fabriclover007 | | #11

        Hi, I have a Black and Decker but unfortunately my model has been discontiued.  Other companies make good irons also, but it's more the iron type than the mfg. I believe.  I too used to go through regular irons that cost from $30-$70 every six months.  The steam problem is that for regular irons water falls from within the iron to the soleplate where it's heated.  Not enough steam is produced and sometimes you get spitting.  The steam generator works on a different principle; the water is held in the tank and heated, then you only get steam through the hosing delivered to the iron.  It is vastly superior.  As I said, if you've ever had a problem with your interfacing not sticking correctly you would be amazed at the difference.  The iron has variable temp control, although it delivers steam at any setting.  It almost makes putting interfacing on a breeze, just hit it once and it's done.  I paid about $100 (a couple of years ago) but don't see that brand anymore.

        Good luck in your search


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