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Thread: Dry iron vs steam iron

  1. #1
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    Dry iron vs steam iron

    Can someone explain to me why one is preferred over the other?

  2. #2
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    Really can't explain it except to say that I had always used a steam iron- Shark Professional but swithched to using an iron only on the dry setting. I like the dry iron much better.

  3. #3
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i use a dry iron so that there's no chance of dribbling anything on my quilt pieces. the dry iron does not have steam holes to leave little 'bumps' on the fabric. i know... seems silly... but that's just me.

    i save my expensive steam iron for projects that require steam.
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T – is it True? H – is it Helpful? I – is it Inspiring? N – is it Necessary? K – is it Kind?


  4. #4
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    I am on the other side...I prefer steam to dry. I think I have heard you should use dry when using fusible material but I don't even bother with that. I use steam for everything. If I am working with delicate fabric or if I am afraid of water dripping, I use a pressing cloth.

  5. #5
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    The dry iron has a solid sole plate, no steam holes. This allows for a hotter surface, even heating and no imprint of the steam holes on the fabric which is horrible for applique pieces especially if you are using fusible. If you want steam it's easy to spray with water. The steam iron with no water still leaves imprint. The newer irons seem to have smaller steam holes but more of them.

    The dry iron new is under $25 so no big expense at all to have one.
    Last edited by BellaBoo; 12-03-2012 at 05:01 AM.
    Got fabric?

  6. #6
    Member Annieflower's Avatar
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    Wow! What great advice and I just figured steam! Great question and thanks for sharing.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cheshirecatquilter's Avatar
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    Also, if you screw up and get something sticky from an iron on applique on the bottom of a steam iron it's a real beast to try to clean out all the holes.

  8. #8
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I don't use steam. If I need any moisture I use a spray bottle. When this iron gives out I want a dry only iron for the solid sole plate.
    Another Phyllis
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  9. #9
    Super Member Belfrybat's Avatar
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    I use both. My travel iron has a solid plate and is great for pressing small items without distortion. Plus no holes to get caught on points, which happened a lot to me with the iron with steam holes. The steam iron is great for pressing wrinkles out of fabric or pressing completely blocks on the right side of the fabric.

  10. #10
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    With a dry iron, there is less possibility of stretching the fabric, but I find that the seams I'm pressing are not as flat as when I use steam. I prefer using steam for that reason, though I am very careful to PRESS rather than iron.

  11. #11
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    Thanks everyone for educating me on the difference. I just thought an iron is an iron. I do have to say, I like steam for the seams. Maybe I will get both.

  12. #12
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    I prefer to spray than use steam. I haven't found a steam iron yet thar doesn't spit. Think I might invest in a dry iron with a solid sole plate.
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  13. #13
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    I prefer to use steam when I do my pressing of seams...seems to make them lay flatter. Just need to be careful to not stretch the fabric.

  14. #14
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    30+ years of using, preferably, a steam iron and I've never had trouble with the steam holes. I believe that the steam doesn't cause distortion, the presser does.

    Jan in VA
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  15. #15
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    I'm definitely a steamer. I use a steam generator versus a standard iron because I use so much steam!

  16. #16
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I have the Velocity by Reliable and it hasn't ever spit or dribbled once. I applique quite a bit and it's never left a mark in any of my work. I love steam. I don't distort my work. I know how to press. I couldn't do quilting without my steam. The Velocity actually "roars" when you press the steam button. It's awesome!!
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
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  17. #17
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    Definitely steam! I don't want the bother of having 2 irons and I use a steam iron all the time to press my clothes. I have never had my iron spit and I never stretch my fabric. I press when I want to press and iron when I want to iron.

  18. #18
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    as bellaboo stated- the difference is the sole plate- steam-holes-dry- flat no holes.
    and cost- the dry iron tend to be much less expensive.
    you can still have steam with a dry iron- just use a spray bottle of water- (which some of us prefer anyway- no sputtering/leaking from an iron filled with water)
    and no holes to leave marks on our fabric
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  19. #19
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    The iron I use is a plain dry iron with no Teflon just shiny metal surface. I don't like the drag of Teflon.

  20. #20
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    Difference between Dry and Steam Iron

    A steam iron is an iron that uses superheated water to eliminate wrinkles in clothes and fabrics which may not be suitable for traditional dry ironing. Interpreting from the name a dry iron it an iron that work simply by it’s adjusting the temperature of the iron depending upon the type of fabric. But nowadays dry irons are rare to find. So if you are planning to buy a dry one go for a one with dual function which has the dry and steam mode. I have also bought Philips steam iron only as they are a much better and wise choice as compared to the dry iron.

    I hope so it will help you.

  21. #21
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    I always dry iron, but spritz with water if needed. Using water makes it much easier to stretch seams.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Ms Kay's Avatar
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    What is a good iron that doesn't have an automatic shutoff. I hate those irons.
    Ms Kay

  23. #23
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms Kay View Post
    What is a good iron that doesn't have an automatic shutoff. I hate those irons.
    The Rival model ES280 1200 watt steam iron that sells at Walmart for $9.99. No shut off, mine has never spit up, it's small and lightweight, has a shiny sole plate for less drag and a nice pointy nose for small spaces, and it doesn't leave dimples. I use fusible on well over 50% of what I create and this iron is a real gem.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  24. #24
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    Ghostrider- it's a steam iron and it doesn't leave dimples?

  25. #25
    Super Member klgls's Avatar
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    I'm with Jan. I brought a solid plate dry iron and it quit working after 3 days - so I'm back to my old steam iron and I admit I like it better.

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