If you don’t sew you are probably scratching you head at the title of this post. If you do sew, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Next to your sewing machine, your iron is probably one of the most important tools you use. A bad iron hinders your creativity and a good one helps you execute your projects. I’ve been asked a lot lately at workshops and classes for recommendations for an iron so I thought I’d share my response with you.
I define a bad iron as one that doesn’t help fabric lie flat, leaks, oozes mineral deposits on say, a white silk blouse. A bad iron won’t get seam allowances flat and makes it hard to cut fabric with stubborn wrinkles.
A good iron helps the fabric lie flat so you can cut more accurately and makes your finished work look crisp and well-crafted.
As professional quiltmakers for the past 10 years, Bill and I have had a lot of irons. As soon as we found one we liked, invariably a student or intern would drop it and it would break. When we would try to replace it we would find that our model had been replaced with an inferior design. We soon realized that there was no correlation between price and quality of irons.
A few years ago we opened our back door and found a huge box on the back porch filled with various Rowenta irons. There was a business card inside of the person who had sent them to us. We called her to see why we had received this box. She told us that she wanted us to try them out and let her know what we thought.
Prior to receiving this box, Rowenta irons were the worst irons I had ever used. They leaked water and would spew scalding water on my hands as I ironed. I can’t count how many burns I got from that stupid iron and how many times I cursed having paid good money for such a dangerous product. As a result I was not enthusiastic about trying any more of them. Inevitably, however, someone dropped our favorite iron and I grudgingly pulled out the Rowenta Focus. I was astonished. It was fantastic. I couldn’t believe that it was made by the same company. We called the woman who had sent them to us and she explained that they had been totally redesigned.
We’ve been using that same Rowenta Focus for several years now without a single problem. It has powerful steam, never leaks and works as well on synthetics and wool as it does on cotton. They also sent a small travel iron that I keep in the clothes closet of our home for quick touchups of wrinkled t-shirts or sweaters and it works wonders as well. I would never have tried another Rowenta had it not been sent to us but if you’re in the market for a new iron, it’s worth every penny.