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Thread: do cutting mats wear out?

  1. #1
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    do cutting mats wear out?

    I have a large mat that is about 6 years old. (One of the "smelly" type.) I don't use it all that often now, but have used it a lot in the past. I haven't cut much in the past couple of years, but now have a project I need to get done in a hurry and decided to cut almost 1000 pieces on it. I am only trying to cut about 4 to 6 layers at a time but my cutter leaves big gaps in places. (45 mm) I have put 2 different NEW blades in the cutter and still having problems. All of the fabric I'm using is good grade 100% cotton. Do the mats dry out or something??? Or what? I'm getting very frustrated and need to get this cut. Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks for any help/advice!

  2. #2
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    The mats do get grooves in them - have you tried washing it or wiping it down with a fine steel wool ? Maybe try cutting in a different area of the mat ?
    To keep your mind fresh- learn one new thing a day !

  3. #3
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    Is the gaps in the fabric -like not cutting all layers- or gaps like holes in the mat?

  4. #4
    Super Member JJean's Avatar
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    Yes, they do wear out --at least mine did. I had to get a new one and it made all the difference. Treat yourself to a new one.
    Jean

  5. #5
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    YES they get worn out.. Im finally replacing mine after 20 years of loyal service..
    Both Vertical & horizontal Zero lines are cut completely thru the mat up to like 20 or so... I cant read my 10,15,20,25,30 lines anymore and there are bias deep groove cuts that have become quite annoying when im cutting in that area.. So for $100 for a 20 year service that isnt so bad..

    I have a sew/fit mat.. and I love it..

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I change out mats often. When I find a sale I buy one if I need it or not. I counted six big mats behind my bookcase and I know I have many smaller ones in drawer. I only buy when I find a 50% off sale. I always have a new one available. Once I get grooves in a mat I call it worn out The self healing mats will dry out. They need to be hydrated to stay self healing. Soak it in room temp water over night and let air dry flat, not in the sun. I do this with the new mats about once a year that I have in my stash and haven't used yet.
    Got fabric?

  7. #7
    Super Member Yosamitesa's Avatar
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    Mine wore out and I got a new one. Then I upgraded to a bigger one and am so much happier. My blades are happier too!!!

  8. #8
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    You probably need a new one, but here's some info on rejuvinating the one you have now. Might be worth trying before you get a new one

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1...on-t64181.html
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  9. #9
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I've had one Olfa mat for over 10 years. i got another one a few years ago and use it mostly with the older one to the right of the new one. I sometimes cut long strips the length of fabric and use both.
    you're supposed to be able to soak them in the tub and let dry flat to renew them. mine are fine so far.

  10. #10
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    I bought an Olfa mat when I first started quilting, probably 20 years ago. I would still be using it except you shouldn't iron your mat. Ask me how I know. I still use the mat for small projects. I can't believe that you cut groves in your mats--you must be cutting too hard or something. My mats are as good as new. At least the Olfa mats are.
    Sue

  11. #11
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    If you have an Olfa mat, just turn it over if you've never used the reverse side.
    Olfas can be/should be washed with warm soapy water, maybe a light scrub with a nylon scrubby, and dried.

    Jan in VA
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  12. #12
    Junior Member Christine George's Avatar
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    I kind of solved that dilemma. Since I use my ruler for measuring I can cut in different places on the mat. One time here, another cut there. That helps it last longer.

  13. #13
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    I use the large olfa mats, and I replace mine about every 3 years.

  14. #14
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    If you have grooves in your mat, they can effect your cutting

  15. #15
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    Don't forget you can also turn it over in a pinch.
    After 2 years with the same signature I have been requested to remove it. Bye

  16. #16
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    Yes, they do wear out, depending on how often you use them. Mine is used pretty heavily and I need to get a new one. It's got grooves in it. I'm buying a double sided mat this time, then all I have to do is turn it over when one side gets worn out.
    Bernina 640, Singer 201-3, Singer Centennial 15-91, Tin Lizzie 26" long arm

  17. #17
    Senior Member ChaiQuilter's Avatar
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    I can't believe you can cut 6 layers at a time. The most I have successfully cut is 4 when I put the selvedges together and then fold.

  18. #18
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    Yes, I have worn one out. Also, wanted to mention that the majic erasers are great for cleaning the lint off after a lot of cutting. Use the eraser dry.

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