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Searching for a good iron

bonbon | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

My son sent me a gift certificate to use on EBAY and I would like to find a good iron to use for sewing. I do lots and lots of garment sewing. Does anyone have some suggestions for brands or types?

Replies

  1. Gwynnerose | | #1

    There are pros and cons to every iron I've ever had.  From $10 irons to $120 ones.  I can tell you some things to look for.  If you use steam a lot, look for the number of steam holes and their locations, more is better.  Use softened or distilled water because if you don't there will be little pieces of stuff that come out when you hit the burst of steam button.  The weight of the iron can make a difference.  Heavier ones make an easier time of things that need a good press but the weight gets tiresome.  Lightweight ones glide nicely but lack the weight for a good press on linen and cotton.  Teflon is great for gliding but not over pins.  Stainless needs cleaning if you use it on fusibles, or only fuse with a silk organza press cloth.  Home irons all have an automatic off feature that activates differently in different irons, time is one factor, movement of the iron is another.  It can be very frustrating to have the iron continually turning off.  Industrial irons are great, they're weighty, 4-7 lbs. have a large water reservoir which hangs off the wall or ceiling and don't turn off which is good and bad.  I once left one on for a full day.  If you can afford one with an electronic switch, it's better than the standard dial.  You can find them online using keyword industrial irons.  A long cord is also a plus.  I like a good point on the front in order to glide effortlessly down the length of a seam allowance.  Hope this helps

  2. clsosa | | #2

    I do quite a bit of sewing.  I find the steam generators to be wonderful.  The iron and water heats independently so that you can use steam even when your garment can't take a high temperature.  This is great for fusible interfacing.  The machine most readily available to me was the Rowenta.   It cost around $200.   There are many other models available, at various price ranges.  If you check your Threads index, they published an article (2005?) that gave a good overview of the types of irons available and what they did best.

    Because I use my iron so extensively, I will say I had to replace the Rowenta after about 18 months.  I have since stepped up to a commercial unit (Hi-steam boiler, which requires a different plug outlet).

    If it helps, the features you want to look for are convenience of refilling the tank, a guage to show you your water level, and how many hours of steam you can get before you need to refill the tank.

    Your son gave you a very thoughtful gift.  Enjoy it.   

    1. bonbon | | #3

      Thank you for your advice. This is a much harder task than I thought. I didn't know I was going to work so hard for my gift.

      1. mainestitcher | | #7

        One can spend $100 or so for a Rowenta, and have it "die" in a year or two. I did. I spent $150 on a gravity feed iron which will work for years. I didn't get top of the line Naomoto---those may be worth every penny. WOrked in a tailor shop for 15 years and replaced it once.

  3. mem | | #4

    I have  a Tefal iron which is really good . I like it because it has great steam and it also switches off if I dont use it for 5 mins . This is great when sewing as it saves energy and is a good safety feature .It heats up very quickly when I pick it up and tilt it . I had one a few years ago which beaped at me when i stopped using it . That drove me crazy . This one is QUIET.

  4. sewpro | | #5

    Rowenta! No question. I am a dressmaker and use mine everyday and yes, it needs replacing after a couple of years or sooner if I drop it (it happens!). The boiler type souds great, but it would take up more space than I can afford to give up and I am happy with my Rowenta. I have a Professional Luxe and it is by far the best model they have come out with. I pay about $90 for it at Costco. Happy shopping - Janet

    1. mjorymer | | #6

      I love the Rowenta with the boiler.  It gets a lot of use.  I don't really like the gravity feed irons because they are ugly--now there's a good reason to not buy something.   Anyway, the newer Rowentas have an extra large boiler and you can refill it while the iron is on.  In the first models, you had to wait until the iron cooled.

      Be careful about using distilled water--check with the manufacturer, first.  I was told by a repairman and by a Rowenta rep that distilled water (in regular steam irons) could soften the inner parts of the iron. 

      Marijo Rymer

      PACC

  5. sewchris703 | | #8

    I love my Black and Decker classic.  It's a heavy steel, basic steam iron.  The draw back is that there is no water window or shot of steam, etc.  But it presses natural fiber fabrics like a dream.  I use it for all the historical reenacting costuming that are made from wool, linen, and cotton.  I also have a Black and Decker light weight iron with a water window, shot of steam, and water spray.  I can also use it as an upright steamer.  I use it for bridal and special ocasion sewing. 

    Chris

  6. lilah | | #9

    bonbon,

    I like to use the older irons that don't have steam holes in the bottom for any pressing that doesn't require steam.  I use a spray bottle of water or a dauber for most steaming, but this isn't always the best way to go.  The vintage irons are heavy and they seem to get hotter than modern ones.  The steam holes sometimes leave bubbles on some fabrics or when using some fusible products.  I find the old irons at flea markets or antique shops.  I just make sure that everything is in good condition, especially the wiring and the sole plate.  I've found several that were still in the box and unused.   They usually cost from $5 to $30. This might not be a solution for everyone but I love my vintage irons.  I started buying the vintage irons because I had a lightweight Black and Decker with no steam vents ($10) and it worked nicely but I had to put some muscle into pressing cotton fabrics for quilting.  I have a very expensive Rowenta iron, but I just don't use it.

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