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Thread: To Steam or Not to Steam, that is the question!

  1. #1
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    To Steam or Not to Steam, that is the question!

    I'm on the lookout for a new iron. I like the one I have now, a cord/cordless Oreck but it doesn't get quite as hot as I'd like it to when I used with the cord.

    I've never come to a conclusion regarding the steam debate- is steam recommended when ironing quilt fabrics? or isn't it?

    Please share the news about using steam on quilting fabrics, is it harmful? I'll make my decision on a new iron based on the findings.
    Bernina 640, Singer 201-3, Singer Centennial 15-91, Tin Lizzie 26" long arm

  2. #2
    Member SoSewSue's Avatar
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    I'm not sure steam is harmful to the fabric per se, but it is very easy to stretch a block out of shape with steam. I am a big lover of steam for ironing clothes (I have an iron with a standalone water tank) but have switched to using an old dry iron for pressing when quilting to minimize distortion opportunities. I have to use a dry iron, because apparently pressing the button for steam is an involuntary action

  3. #3
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    I press patchwork with a cordless steam iron but don't fill with water. It is the best iron for patchwork I have used so far. I iron with steam . If I wish to change or pin a shape out I tend to dip in a starch mixture and then pin leave to nearly dry then dry press using the iron plus the old wooden press. Works great.

    Ps I only buy cheap irons because I am always breaking them.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  4. #4
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    I always use steam, except on applique. I bought a dry iron for applique, because I did'nt like to see the little circles from the steam holes. But I press, not iron, my pieced blocks ( lift the iron, then set it down ) no stretching of fabric that way.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Queen's Avatar
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    I just bought a new iron at Aldis. They had it marked down to $12.99 and boy does it ever have the steam when I want it. Mary

  6. #6
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    Steamer, here. It, for me, makes everything flatter. And while I sometimes have distortion, I think that has more to do with my inaccurate sewing than it does the pressing/ironing. I just square up/trim and move on.

  7. #7
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    My iron has wonderful steam, but I don't use it very often. I think I'll try it on the next project and see if it makes any difference.

  8. #8
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    I've found using steam to PRESS seams, either to one side or open, makes the seams lay flatter.

  9. #9
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Where quilting is concerned, I'm a no steam girl. I use starch to iron my fabric before cutting, and I rarely need to use anything more than a hot iron after that while working on blocks. If I have a stubborn (thick) seam (like when PP), or if I accidentally iron part of a seam the wrong direction, I'll give the seam line only a little spritz of starch and iron.

    I keep a second iron that I use when I need steam. Working with wool applique is a good example. Also of course my clothes.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  10. #10
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    I always use steam. if you are careful the fab does not distort

  11. #11
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I'm a steamer! I have come to love how flat I can get everything with lots of steam.

  12. #12
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I never use the steam, I use a spray bottlle with water.

  13. #13
    Junior Member ArlaJo's Avatar
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    I don't use steam but I have my faithful spray bottle handy if needed.

  14. #14
    Super Member Luv Quilts and Cats's Avatar
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    I like using steam. I have not had any problems with it.
    Luv Quilts and Cats
    Never underestimate the healing effects of beauty. - Florence Nightingale

  15. #15
    Senior Member Rebecca_S's Avatar
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    I like to press blocks without steam, but then afterwards for intersections with lots of bulk I will do another press with steam. The first pressing without steam is often enough but the steam can be helpful for the ones that don't want to lay flat.

  16. #16
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    I'd like to find an iron that gets hot, I won't be using it for steam. I have a question about wattage. When it comes to wattage on an iron, do the higher numbers mean they get hotter or does it mean the iron gets to the temperature faster than lower wattage irons?

    I have 2 irons, the cheapo 1200 watt iron seems to get hotter than my cheapo 1450 watt iron. This is what makes me confused!

    I want an iron that gets very hot, for my cotton quilt fabrics. The 1450 watt doesn't take out wrinkles like it should, even though I spray the wrinkles with water. And the 1200 watt iron takes out the wrinkles when they are sprinkled with water.

    Does anyone have a copy of Consumer Reports???
    Bernina 640, Singer 201-3, Singer Centennial 15-91, Tin Lizzie 26" long arm

  17. #17
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    WOW, I found the $129 Rowenta DW9080 1800 watt iron at Big Lots for $50 today .

    If you are in need of an iron, check out Big Lots if you have one nearby. They also had the $90
    Rowenta DW5080 Focus for $30!

    I'm THRILLED to find Rowenta irons at this price!!
    Bernina 640, Singer 201-3, Singer Centennial 15-91, Tin Lizzie 26" long arm

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