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Steam generator irons

ElenaYDesigns | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

This is a repeat of my mesage posted under general sewing information. Thought I would try it again posting it under equipment and supplies.
From:  ellenatstitchart   Nov-26 10:15 pm 
To:  ALL  (1 of 3)   4490.1 

I have been using steam generator irons for the past few years. I make handbags and use a lot of iron on battings and heavy interfacings. I also like the powerful steam for pressing seams on the heavy tapestys that I often use for both handbags and jackets. I own two Bernina steam generator irons and have spent way too much money keeping them repaired. Before that I had a Euro Pro and had the same problem. When they work they do a great job, but there are too many repair problems and it is getting prohibitively expensive to keep using these irons.
Does anyone know of another reliable brand of iron where I can get good steam pressing for adhereing heavy interfacings and good all around pressing on heavy fabrics, both for prepressing the fabric and for pressing seams while I am sewing.
Would appreciate any help you can offer. Thanks.

Ellen Younkins


  1. IDsweetpea | | #1

    I do not make handbags, however, I use the Rowenta pro and it makes a huge amount of steam.  It will steam as long as I hold down the button.  In fact, when I get over enthusiastic with the steam, I have to stop every five or six shirts and wipe off the collected moisture from the bottom of my board.  I iron everything and I love the iron.  I bought it at Hancocks with a great 20% off coupon and during a sale.  It was a great deal. 

  2. PLW1017 | | #2

    I've had the Rowenta, Model DG980, steam generator for over a year now and absolutely love it!!!!  It works beautifully and produces huge amounts of steam. I recommend it highly!



  3. offerocker | | #3

    I also have a Euro-Pro 'Special Edition' (whatever that means).  I love it. Exception is the time it takes for it to 'cool down' in order to add more water.  It did get dropped, and now the dial does not work, although it must still be set to whatever I had it on last, because it still works.  My complaint, other than waiting to add water, is that the entire unit (iron AND holding tank) would need to be returned to purchaser for repair - a heavy load to carry.  I'd be interested in other irons as well.  Surprised to hear of Bernina's problems - thanks for the info on that one.  Many years ago, there was a 'gravity-fed' water tank offered for some irons.  Now, those gravity-fed irons are terribly expensive.  I still like the power of steam-generated irons.  Kathleen 

  4. Jumala | | #4

    I use a White which comes in 2 pieces. The iron and a stand which are linked together with a hose. The stand has a bottle of sorts which can be removed and refilled at the sink or it can be refilled with a watering can. The system makes a put-put sound when steaming and can steam while standing up. A filter needs to be replaced at times but can used regular house water. It cost me $60 on sale, but have seen it for $200 at Hancock's. The steaming works fine at high temperatures, but at lower temps, it can dribble. Do not know the model #.



  5. SusanT | | #5

    Another thought, Ellen, on the steam generating irons ... it appears that you use this tool extensively ... would it be advantageous to consult with a drycleaner and look into purchasing a professional model?  I would think the models they use are designed for heavier use than home used models.  Just a thought ...

    1. SewTruTerry | | #6

      Susan I love your suggestion about talking to your dry cleaner. I wish I had done that before investing in my White Steam Generator.  It is model SI-85 and I am now on my 4th one in 2 1/2 years.  ARRGHHHH!!!! Talk about frustrating.  It cost $99.00 and when the first one gave out after 9 months of use I had to ship it back along with a check for $50.00 and they sent me a new one.  Of course that one only lasted 7 months and I repeated the shipping again.  Don't get me wrong when they work they work wonderfully but just don't seem to last.  So now I am in the market for a new iron.

      1. Marionc032 | | #7

        Hi! Just wanted to jump in here with a question. I've been sewing for many years and have gone through my fair share of irons including a steam-generator iron which lasted until just beyond the warrantly period of one year. I finally bought a gravity feed iron which I think is fantastic and hasn't given me one second of trouble in 6 years of heavy use. My gravity feed iron costs about $150.00 these days and I just did a quick search for prices of the steam-generator irons and the ones I saw cost more than my gravity-feed. I've seen quite a few posts on this site complaining about problems and breakdowns with the steam-generator irons, but are there advantages to using a steam-generator over a gravity-feed? It doesn't seem that cost would be a factor.Inquiring minds want to know!

        1. SewNancy | | #8

          What exactly is a gravity feed iron?

          1. Marionc032 | | #9

            Its an iron that has a separate water tank that hangs about 3 ft above the iron. The water flows from the tank to the iron through a flexible tube and is turned into steam in the iron itself. Steam is released by pressing a button on the iron, unlike regular irons which steam all the time when pressing in steam mode (at least that's the way my conventional irons worked). So with a gravity feed you can dry iron and when you want the steam, you press the button. Gravity feed irons produce powerful bursts of steam and the iron itself is heavier than conventional irons--a feature that I like. They seem to be more substantial and solidly built. I've owned a lot of conventional irons including Rowenta and Europro and none of them lasted. I've had my gravity feed for more than six years and its still going strong.HTH,

          2. FitnessNut | | #10

            I'm with you....I adore my gravity feed iron. I wouldn't have any other kind now. Mine is almost seven years old and has received heavy use, considering that for much of that time I've been self-employed making custom clothing. It is the only type of iron that comes close to the professional ones I used at school and work, which have a boiler....very expensive! Small business in the industry often use a gravity feed to save money.

          3. user-201098 | | #12

            My approx. 15 yr old Rowenta finally bit the dust.  After reading dozens of messages on irons, it seems a lot of sewers like the Silverstar Gravity Feed.  I looked for one on-line and there are several models.  Anyone out there have info. on which model is better suited for the home sewer who is primarily a garment sewer?  And where can I get one?  The on-line sites were all sellers such as e-bay - no site for the manufacturer to try and get info on the iron specifications and retail outlets.

            Sew English

      2. offerocker | | #11


        I recently purchased a "J430A Reliable CSS (continuous steam supply)"  from Clements Machinery for $189.  It is a very powerful stem-generator iron, although there is not the weight to the iron that some want.  The best thing about this iron is that you can add water to the tank (probably a reserve) anytime, which usually can't be done with steam generators.  I thought about the gravity-fed systems, but didn't think they would provide the same amount of steam.  I don't know if any comparison studies have been done on that subject.  This is just food for thought, as I haven't seen this model mentioned in this discussion.  Will let you know in 6 months how it's holding up; came with a great warranty.

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