tooling around: turn up the heat

The last couple of go ‘rounds we’ve discussed the indispensible computer.  This week, I’d like to talk about a household tool that is almost as common.

My iron.

I use a Black & Decker PROfinish 757. I can’t be positive, but I’m pretty sure I’ve had this iron for close to a decade. I have the hardest time replacing appliances (see computer post). I mean they have to be seriously broken down before I give them the boot.

My 757 actually works fine.  She steams when I need her to steam, the heat she generates is just as the settings indicate, her plate and steam holes are free of buildup. She does have one strange quirk; I think she draws more than her fair share of electricity.  Whenever she is turned on, lights in that room will momentarily dim on occasion (probably the iron’s attempt to keep its temperature at the correct level). Even more annoying, my sewing machine will slow to a snail’s pace. This problem has followed me from apartment to house, one state to another, so I doubt it has to do with the wiring of my abode.

Annoying? Yes.  Grounds for firing my iron? Not for me. Not yet, anyway.

I do have my eye on a little beauty thanks again to my friend and mentor, Alison. She has a Rowenta. It’s an expensive little number, but worth it. Seriously, it is almost like you show this iron to fabric and it unwrinkles itself out of fear.


Rowenta DZ5080 Focus. Click image for additional info.

When I have sewing lessons at Alison’s house I get to use the Rowenta.  If my purse was big enough I think I might try to take it home with me. It could definitely teach my power-sucking 757 a thing or two. For one, the lights never succumb to intermittent dimming at Alison’s house. Secondly, mid-project ironing takes a fraction of the time.

I know some of you don’t sew and I won’t bore you with too many details, but ironing makes all the difference in how a project turns out.  I’d say it is imperative in making a quality product. Before starting, the fabric(s) must be washed and ironed. Every time you finish a seam, ironing it on both sides will embed it into the fabric, making it stronger.  When working with garments the extra eighth an inch you get from ironing out tiny wrinkles can determine whether something hangs correctly, if you can get your head through the neck opening, or eliminate weird puckers.

That is a lot of ironing so I’m sure you can imagine how much time is saved when it can be done in seconds instead of minutes. Likewise, a lot of time is saved when your sewing machine can go at full speed on every stitch as opposed to a jarring sloooooow-surge pace.

If you go to the Rowenta site you can see their complete line.  An internet search will turn up several retailers. I want you to note that their irons range in price from about $40.00 to $160.00. I am not talking about the $40 job! I am definitely encouraging you to get one of the higher end irons.  That’s not to say the less expensive models aren’t good. I only have experience with the 1600 watt beauty available at Jo-Ann Fabrics for $115 (or $69 at your local Costco if you are the super savvy Alison).

In the same vein, I’m sure not all $160 irons are created equal, so caveat emptor.

Now tell me, my darlings, do you iron as part of your craft?  What do you use? If you don’t iron for work, would you pay $160 for this particular household appliance?  And which equipment would you pay more for if it makes your work go more quickly?

3 thoughts on “tooling around: turn up the heat

  1. I just invested in a Rowenta last month and am loving it. It’s a completely different experience using it! My last one kept shutting off after five minutes and I’m sure those of you that sew know just how annoying that can be!

  2. What a super informative piece! Very well done and well….HOT!
    If us chickies have to do some dreaded chores when we would much rather be SEWING, at least our Rowentas make it better!
    P.S. J, I am glad that you did not share my “Mother of the Year” ironing snafu that involved my three year old, Brooke. Well, it would have been funny. Wasn’t at the time!

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