Pressing Matters – Part 2

Happy Monday!
It is hard to believe that we are almost through the month of June.  I always have plenty of things to keep me busy, but the one thing that I did not expect with the problem keeping up with what day it is!  My life was fairly scheduled, between my different jobs, meetings, and classes.  Once all of that stopped, I still had (have!) lists of projects, but not really on a set schedule.  I have to stop and think to make sure I know what day I am on!

This is part 2 of pressing matters, and I am still focused on irons.  Accouterment  will come in the next post!  I talked last week about small irons, and this week I am going to focus on more ‘regular’sized irons.  I have 3, and have them in different places in my house.

The first iron I am going to show you is my Panasonic cordless iron.  (They also make a corded iron that looks very similar, so if you are looking for one, make sure you see cordless on the box).

The iron itself is cordless – it sits on a base that does have a cord (and it has a spring function so that it snaps back in place when you unplug it to store it away).  The iron has 3 settings, so works on a variety of fabrics.  It has 2 steam settings, and the steam will work on the medium and high heat setting.

The sole plate on the bottom of the iron has a lot of holes for steam.  It also has 2 pointed ends, one on each side.  Because of that, it will not stand up when not in use – it is made to rest in the base.  The bottom end of the iron has a slot that fits into the base, and that connection is used to heat the iron and keep it at temperature.  I use this iron at my sewing table.  It is not too big or heavy – perfect for pressing small seams as I am sewing.  It is handy to not have to worry about a cord getting in my way while I am ironing.  I really like this iron, especially for where I use it and what I am using it for.  This would not be my top pick for my main iron, though.

One more plus – it has a nifty cover with a handle that pops on, so it is easy to take with you.  While small travel irons are great for class, if you are going to a sewing retreat or a class where you are doing major pressing and ironing, this is a great iron to use as well.  Panasonic makes 3 different cordless iron (difference is in the sole plates – stainless steel vs. ceramic) and they run between $130 – $150.

Next up – the Reliable Sensor Velocity (they do not make this model anymore – they have upgraded to a newer model).

This iron is made by The Reliable Corp., out of Canada.  Their main business is industrial steam irons, and they know their stuff.  They make a few models for the home consumer, and this is one of them.  The steam on this iron is wonderful – you can keep the iron vertical (like in the picture) and hi the steam, and it will express continuous steam.  This is great for pressing, as well as steaming garments.

It has 4 levels of heat, which works on all types of fabrics.  2 levels of steam.  The ‘sensor’ feature on this iron is pretty neat – there is a sensor in the handle.  When you are ironing or pressing with steam and you set the iron down, the sensor in the handle can tell, and the steam stops.  As soon as you touch the handle, the steam will start again.  This helps to stretch out the time between water refills, which is nice.  I have been happy with this iron – it has lasted about 4-5 years so far – worth the $150.  I figure if I get 4-5 years out of an iron, I have gotten my money’s worth.

Last, but not least, the Reliable Professional Steam Iron Station.  This is made by the same company that makes the Velocity Sensor (above).



This type of steam iron comes in several different sizes (and prices), the biggest difference is usually the size of the boiler tank.  That is where the water is heated (and becomes pressurized) so when you press the steam button, the steam comes through the bottom of the iron with some ooomphh!  It also has 2 long cords (7ft) that provide power (to heat) and steam.

You can see that this iron is NOT meant to stand upright!

It comes with a heavy duty rubber mat the the iron rests on.  The handle is cork, to keep it from getting too hot, and when you want steam, you push the blue button.

You can see the bottom of the iron here – not tons of steam holes on the outside.  There are   Since the steam is pressurized, it comes through with a strong burst, and there are steam chambers inside the sole plate which eliminate the condensation so the steam is a dry steam.  I have had this iron for almost 2 years and really like it.  The large water tank lets me iron and press for a long time (hours) without having to refill the water.  Since the water is kept in a tank that is separate from the iron itself, the iron is lighter than a typical home iron, which is helpful for me.  Once I am done ironing for the day, I turn it off and uncrew the pressure cap by about 1/4 to 1/2 a turn to let the steam out.  If you unscrew the whole think, it can explode, just like a pressure cooker would if you took the lid off before the steam was let off.  There are 2 downsides (but not bad enough to keep me from loving this iron):  it does take a while to heat up – about 10 – 15 minutes (yeah, I know, but the plus is that it does not have an auto shut off), and it does take up more space than a regular iron.
This iron was definitely a wish list item that I saved for, but I am glad that I invested in it.

A couple of odds and ends about irons – from a retailer perspective.  Home irons are carried by sewing shops mainly as a convenience to the customers.  Irons have a much smaller mark up (which is one of the reasons Joanns coupons do not work on irons).  They are also heavy and are listed as freight intensive, so shipping is higher on irons.  Many iron manufacturers also have a msrp that retailers are not supposed to go below.  If you are looking for an iron and you have a shop in your area that has the one you are looking for, please support them!  If not, I recommend Bed, Bath, & Beyond.  They do not put items on ssle (whihc would be against the manufacturer’s guidelines, but they have their 20% off coupons that will work.  Shipping is free on orders over $39 or $49, which is not usually a problem when you are ordering an iron!  I typically do not carry bigger irons anymore, but if you can’t find one that you are looking for, let me know, and I will help you out.

One other iron question that I get asked about often – what about Rowenta irons?  I have had several different Rowenta irons, all different models, many years ago.  I never had one that lasted more than a year before it started spitting, even if the steam was off, so they are not a brand that I tend to use.

Hope this was not more than you bargained for!  I have many ironing and pressing notions that I will be talking about in upcoming posts, but will intersperse some other things as well.

I hope to see you soon – virtually!  I will be announcing some new class info in the next couple of weeks as well.

Happy Stitching,



12 thoughts on “Pressing Matters – Part 2

  1. Hi Vaune,
    Great article. I agree with you about the Rowenta irons. I finally threw my last one away in disgust when it would not reliably heat up after I wiggled it. I bought a Sapporo gravity feed iron and just love it. It doesn’t turn off automatically so I plugged it into a smart plug and have rules that turn it off at noon and 7 pm every day. It doesn’t have a lot of steam holes on the bottom but when you press the button for steam, plenty comes out. It only steams when the button is pressed so it’s also great for dry ironing.

  2. Vaune,
    I found both of your pressing information e-mails very helpful. Looking forward to your next newsletter.
    Dian Ezell

  3. Thank you! Now I want to see photos of your sewing room…how you’ve organized it. I know you’re very organized!

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