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Thread: Ironing Table Fabric?

  1. #1
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    Question Ironing Table Fabric?

    I am in the process of building both a cutting table and an ironing station from Ikea Kallax units. The ironing table top will be rectangle and made from premium grade plywood, 100% cotton batting and fabric. My question is do I need to use duck or twill or some kind of heavy fabric for the top or will it be fine to use regular quilting cotton in a cute print? I know it needs to be 100% cotton, but does the weight or thickness really matter? I've seen both in my research and Googling. Thanks in advance for your help!

    Lisa

  2. #2
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    You need a heat/moisture barrier of some kind added, like the silver heat resistant fabric, or the plywood will warp. Seen it happen to many a nice wood ironing surface. I like duck canvas to cover whatever padding I use. I make a muslin easy off top covering over that so it's easy to replace or wash. I now use a portable wool pressing pad on top.
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  3. #3
    Super Member juliasb's Avatar
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    I would use a heat resistant fabric over the bat that you want to use the a muslin cover that can be taken off for washing. It sound like a fun project. I only wish I had the space for a larger pressing area. Just ran out of space.

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    So to clarify Onebyone and juliasb, is your duck canvas your heat/moisture barrier or do you mean it needs something besides that (or under it)? I don't really want to make a removable cover to put over it for a couple reasons. One, I've never sewn elastic and I'm fairly certain I couldn't make it look good, and two, I am making my top sit on the unit with a tight frame and a layer of non-slip rug liner but it won't be actually attached. Therefore, if the fabric becomes too gross I will just replace it.
    I'm confused because I watch Donna Jordan a lot and her husband made the one they use all the time (with lots of steam) from just plywood, batting and a "heavier and wider" cotton print fabric(he doesn't give more specifics). Obviously I don't want this to warp or get messed up, but it will be a big surface (approx. 20"x63") so I want it to look pretty too if I can.

  5. #5
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    When I made mine, I bought an old wooden kitchen table and covered it with about 6 large pieces of ugly, thicker fabric to use as a heat and moisture barrier (one is duck or ducklike), and then custom made a tablecloth of cotton to match my decor. I seldom have to wash this cloth, the table is amply protected and I didn’t spend any extra money on padding.

  6. #6
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    I used a thick muslin like fabric to cover mine. I think it would be nice to use a strip or check so you can line up blocks to iron them square. If you are custom making your premium ironing station, maybe you should invest in the actual heat reflective silver ironing board fabric.

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    Plywood will warp when exposed to heat and moisture. DH said thick plywood of at least 3/4" would probably be okay for an ironing base.

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    I have 3/4" and splurged for the "top choice blondewood plywood. I have found fabric listed as ironing board cover and says it is "woven of 100% cotton with a unique aluminized coating". It is listed as silver but looks more like a heather gray instead of the shiny metallic looking stuff I was finding earlier. I think I will go with that and I might or might not put a cute cotton print over it if I decide I need some whimsy in there. There is LOTS of white furniture, lol. If I do add another fabric I will staple it separately so it can be removed and/or changed without disassembling all the layers. Thanks to those who have answered so far, and I'll keep you posted! It might be several days as we are still building the furniture and I have to get to the store to get the fabric.


  9. #9
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I prefer the cotton duck over regular quilting cotton because the quilting cotton is slicker, and the cotton duck kind of grabs my blocks and holds them still as I press them.

  10. #10
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    Since you have a lot of white furniture, you might want to choose a color palette and use it throughout your sewing room to give it cohesiveness. I used turquoise and yellow with touches of black and white in curtains, ironing table, labels on plastic rolling drawer units, and storage baskets. It has the whimsy and yet isn’t busy.

    I can’t get the link to upload from my phone, but I have photos on QB if you’d like to see my sewing room. You’re going to have ro zoom in to see the ironing table.

    To find the post, search “my happy place guest room”.
    Last edited by zozee; 09-10-2019 at 01:29 PM. Reason: Typos

  11. #11
    Senior Member cindi's Avatar
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    I used batting and cotton duck, and no heat resistant barrier. I don’t like the barrier. It warped my last top.

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    Wendi Gratz has a video on how to make an ironing board cover with a drawstring. Maybe you could make a drawstring on your decorative cover? I know this is a different shape than you are making but maybe it will give you some ideas.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UV7ocoiil2o

  13. #13
    Super Member quiltedsunshine's Avatar
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    I've put a layer of Insul-bright between 2 100% cotton batting pieces, in mine. I've had light cotton fabric on top, but it wears out. So I put a heavy, duck fabric on my current ironing board, and I love it! It has lasted a long time.
    Annette in Utah

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    I too use duck fabric as the top of my "big board" ironing surface. I also prefer a plain or solid neutral color as opposed to a busy multicolored print. A busy print combined with the print of the fabric being ironed just drove me crazy. Too much "busyiness" and multi-color combinations made it hard for me to see to fold and press or to see if the strips or squares were straight. That may be just me but something to think about.
    I can't speak to the moisture and heat effects on a base of plywood as I don't use steam in my iron, I just spritz and press/iron. Have had my big board that sits on my regular ironing board for about 10 years and no problems at all with the plywood it is made from.

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    To 'steamproof' my ironing table I covered the plywood with aluminum foil before adding the batting and final cover. Water won't penetrate though the foil and it is easy to wrap around the plywood edges. Overlap generously if the width of your table is greater than the width of your foil.

  16. #16
    Junior Member pahega's Avatar
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    I made an ironing station two years ago. I taped heavy duty aluminum foil over the plywood surface making sure there were no areas where moisture could get in, and then layered cotton batting and then the silver ironing fabric that I got at Joann's over that. I, too, was worried about moisture getting to the wood. I haven't had any issues with warping and I used a lot of steam at times.

  17. #17
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Make sure you use exterior grade plywood, or you will have warping. I have a 60X80 ironing table that I had made for when I did home dec sewing for people. I have a wool blanket, then cotton batting and the silver teflon coated for my ironing surface. I have had no problems with warping and I love the teflon surface.

  18. #18
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Okay, if you are really lazy, like I am, you could just use safety pins to fit the top fabric on the ironing board, as that is what I did. I also didn't want to mess with elastic, neither sewing it directly on or making a facing to slip it into. The safety pins work fine, and it is extremely easy to change fabric when I want to.

    My ironing board top is 20 inches by 60. It is wood, cotton batting, and regular cotton fabric. The fabric I currently have on it is a purple flower print. I have used this board 8 years with no warping or any problems. I like having my ironing board top match the other purple things here in my sewing room.

    Dina
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 09-11-2019 at 08:58 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps

  19. #19
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    You can use almost any fabric that can take a very hot iron, but you Must use something under it (like the heat resistant ironing board fabric). This will protect the wood, particle board or even the metal underneath.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 09-11-2019 at 08:58 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps

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    I really appreciate all the helpful comments and ideas! I am definitely using the ironing board fabric from JoAnns and cotton batting. Have to decide about the aluminum foil - is it still needed with that fabric? I would have to tape it to reach my width and would the tape create an issue with the heat or moisture? I will wait and see how I like the look of that fabric before deciding whether to add another layer over it . The fabric is called silver but looks dark gray online (I pick up tomorrow to see in person) so the colors might work as is. Zozee, I think my color palette will be very close to yours! I am sharing the space with my grandkids sleeping space (for visits only) and I made a crib quilt for my grandson in light aqua, yellows, grays and some black and white accents, lol. The walls are a light blue/aqua as well. I also love the idea of stripes for a straight ironing line but I'm afraid pulling it to staple would make the lines wavy and it would drive me nuts. I might do as I saw someone comment online and just draw a long straight line on whatever fabric I have, to use to true up my fabric and blocks. Oh, the possibilities! I just wish I didn't work full time so I could get this made ! :-)
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 09-11-2019 at 08:59 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps

  21. #21
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    I just made a removable wool cover for my ironing board yesterday! I copied the velcro attachments on my store bought cover and then did some custom ones on the ends.
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  22. #22
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    My 1st trial for fabric on my big board was a striped ducking fabric but it got stained real quickly when using starch, etc. The 2nd trial I used the silver heat resistent fabric and so far its worked great. Can just wipe off any starch overspray and no stains.
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  23. #23
    Super Member 1screech's Avatar
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    I covered my wood with one of those big black trash bags to avoid moisture in the wood. Then I put one layer of warm and natural batting. Then I added 100% cotton canvas and stapled each layer on the back. then I sprayed the canvas with water from a water bottle several times and the canvas shrunk and pulled really tight. My squares do not stretch when ironing. I had a cotton cover at one time, but it got ugly real quick. I love the canvas.

  24. #24
    Super Member d.rickman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltedsunshine View Post
    I've put a layer of Insul-bright between 2 100% cotton batting pieces, in mine. I've had light cotton fabric on top, but it wears out. So I put a heavy, duck fabric on my current ironing board, and I love it! It has lasted a long time.
    The above noted is how I did mine as well, however I purchased a wool mat to cover the top of my ironing board, and made a couple of large "pillow slips" from a king size sheet - so I could slip the wool mat inside, and when it became discolored from my ironing, then I could exchange it with the second one. I purchased my wool mat from a carpet store, 3/8" thick - 24" x 60" to fit my ironing board, and laid it on top - what a difference it made in my pressing and ironing, and less than the cost at our local quilt shops.
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  25. #25
    Junior Member pahega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LisaInOhio View Post
    I really appreciate all the helpful comments and ideas! I am definitely using the ironing board fabric from JoAnns and cotton batting. Have to decide about the aluminum foil - is it still needed with that fabric? I would have to tape it to reach my width and would the tape create an issue with the heat or moisture? I will wait and see how I like the look of that fabric before deciding whether to add another layer over it . The fabric is called silver but looks dark gray online (I pick up tomorrow to see in person) so the colors might work as is. Zozee, I think my color palette will be very close to yours! I am sharing the space with my grandkids sleeping space (for visits only) and I made a crib quilt for my grandson in light aqua, yellows, grays and some black and white accents, lol. The walls are a light blue/aqua as well. I also love the idea of stripes for a straight ironing line but I'm afraid pulling it to staple would make the lines wavy and it would drive me nuts. I might do as I saw someone comment online and just draw a long straight line on whatever fabric I have, to use to true up my fabric and blocks. Oh, the possibilities! I just wish I didn't work full time so I could get this made ! :-)
    I had to tape my aluminum foil to get the width of the ironing surface, too. I felt it was needed to block any moisture towards the wood. I haven't had any issues with the tape. It is between the aluminum foil and the batting.

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