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Thread: wool mats and starch?

  1. #1
    Super Member PamelaOry's Avatar
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    wool mats and starch?

    I need help figuring out how to set up my ironing station. My husband has agreed to build me something that has storage under it. I found this wool mat that is 22x60 which would be the perfect size for covering the top, I’m just worried about starch and flatter spray ruining the wool mat. What do those with wool mats do to protect from starch or are they washable?
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 12-11-2018 at 06:03 PM. Reason: remove link that requires signup
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  2. #2
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    What do the package instructions say about care?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Onetomatoplant's Avatar
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    I don’t know if it would ruin it, I’m with Peckish about checking instructions. I like my wool pad, but it smells like wet dog when I use steam or a misting bottle. It’s wool, so of course it would, but people tend to not think about that when they’re buying.
    I love the smell of Best Press in the morning!

  4. #4
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    I really like the workbench table at Harbor Freight. I think it runs 159 but goes on sale for $129. It has 2 drawers underneath and a shelf. You could put more shelves under it or put those plastic storage units in it. I think it would
    hold a roll of batting if you put a bracket on each end. I am in the market and this one is on my list.

  5. #5
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    I wouldn't use the wool mat for starching or anything wet. Agree with
    Onetomatoplant that it will smell. The wool mat is good when you
    are pressing your blocks. You don't need steam. It creates its own
    steam when you press on that mat. I put a piece of muslin fabric
    over it before pressing. I followed Sharon Schamber's method for
    my pressing board. I have two sizes. I covered my regular ironing
    board with a big board. Works well. Here's her video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LGbXou_u4c

  6. #6
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    I have a wool mat covering my ironing board--it does smell like wet wool when I use water spray on a block, but no more than any wet wool. It did come with a spay bottle that gave directions on what to add (baking soda and essential oil??) to use if you don't like that smell. I don't use starch on it, but when I need to use Best Press or Starch I do put some muslin on it to protect it.

  7. #7
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    You have reminder me it is time to recover the ironing board. I use a layer insulbrite and the gray iron fabric on top to cover the board. On the back, there is a piece of the cabinet cushion to prevent the board from sliding.

    The big box stores have plywood already cut to size or there are helpers that will cut it there for you.

  8. #8
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Good topic,Pamela. I just got one and there are no care instructions. I'm going to contact the place where I got mine.

  9. #9
    Super Member gingerd's Avatar
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    The mat I have came with directions to cover it if I was going to spray anything. I made a pillowcase for it.
    **************
    Ginger
    ~stitching one thread at a time~

  10. #10
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    I keep mine next to my sewing machine for when I do paper piecing. Seems my kitty has found it too and uses it to sleep on when I'm not around so when not in use I keep my thread trash box, a ruler and my little iron on top of it to keep her off of it. She has plenty of beds to sleep in but likes my box of fleece, batting scraps under the cutting table and even the quilt on my frame. Slowly she has figured out those areas she should stay away from. I also keep a spray bottle full of water for those times she thinks she knows better than me. Now she's taken to sleeping on my dining chairs as I can't see her unless I bend down and pull up the table cloth. Found her 1st spot and vacumned it up, now she sleeps at the farthest chair thinking I won't be able to see her from the opposite end when I'm searching for her. Silly kitty!!!!
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  11. #11
    Super Member JENNR8R's Avatar
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    I have a table behind my ironing board that I place a pillowcase on. I spray my fabric with starch on the pillowcase... wait at least 30 seconds before moving it to my wool ironing mat.

  12. #12
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    I think the whole idea of the wool mat is that you don't have to use starch for pressing your quilt pieces. The steam does the job....or dry iron heat works great too. No starch. If I had to starch, I would take it to my ironing board. I would not wash the wool mat.

  13. #13
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    Wool is washable, you just can't throw it in the washer and dryer like a towel or a pair of jeans. Depending on how large and how thick your mat is, you can put it in a container of room temperature water with a little bit of shampoo dissolved in it and gently work the water through the wool. You can use a sink, a dishpan, or the bathtub, depending on how big your mat is. After you are satisfied with the level of cleanliness you have achieved, drain the water, remove the mat, and refill with room temp clear water. You can use a vinegar rinse if you wish, however, end with a clear water rinse.

    The amount of agitation you use should be as minimal as possible, and to dry it you should (again depending on size and thickness) roll it in thick towels, or sandwich it between layers of towels and apply pressure to remove as much moisture as possible. It is not advisable to put it in a dryer, although if yours has a sweater holder, you might want to try that. (Wool that has long fibers and has been well felted will probably live through about any wash/dry routine, but many of the wool pads I've read about seem to be made of cut fibers, and I wouldn't chance it. I have this image of globs of wool sticking to the washer and the dryer filter...)

    I try to only wash woolens in the summertime if at all possible, so that I can put them out in the heat in the shade after the towels. I live in a hot, dry climate, so its like a dryer and works well. If you heat your home to a toasty level in the winter, your mat will probably dry just fine if you lay it on a dry towel, after the rolling or pressing step.

    In a former lifetime I sold a lot of woolen items, and have a lot of experience washing and drying them.

  14. #14
    Super Member d.rickman's Avatar
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    There is a whole new spin on laundry, no rinse delicate wash, lanolin enriched concentrate detergent called "Eucalan" with different scented oil, the one I purchased is eucalyptus scented. You just fill your top loading washing machine with tepid water, add the Eucalan - 1 tsp Eucalan per 1 gallon of water, stop your machine, load your washables - DO NOT ADJITATE and soak for 30 minutes - BY-PASS the rinse cycle, and Spin out the water. No Need to rinse. I purchased mine through a sheep wool farm outlet in Ontario, Canada. www.eucalan.com My bottle cost $12.50 plus shipping. You can also get smaller bottle of this product.

    You could soak your wool pressing mat in this and then let it dry flat. I just place mine on a towel on the ironing board overnight. I also made a couple of long pillow cases for my mat, so when it gets soiled, I can change and wash it and then put on the other one.
    Quilting People are the Best, Have a great sewing day!
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    My pressing station is an older computer desk with a separate space underneath to the right for a tower. The flip down door designed for the keyboard access is invaluable. At my 5' 10" height it was necessary the desk be placed on bed risers.

    The homemade 48" by 24" "big board" with boards to keep it centered on a regular ironing board (too many boards!) gives a few more inches of height to make this perfect for me. The "big board" pad underneath the twill canvas cover is two thin layers of a felted wool blanket.

    With a washable removable strip of twill as protection, the "big board" surface is protected when I use fabric finish prior to cutting. Two rotary cutting mats 18+ inches by 24 inches are stored on the pull out keyboard shelf. The shelf has been covered with the nonslip rubber matting used in my Craftsman tool chest.

    My felted wool mat is about 15" square. I do not use steam with the wool mat. My only regret is that I should have ordered a slightly larger size wool mat. With that said, I will make do and find this set up ideal for my purposes.

    ----Oops, I forgot to mention two items about the desk. 1. Command hooks on the vertical right and left sides hold quilting rulers. 2. An electrical strip with amp protection and separate shut off toggle is mounted on one vertical side.

  16. #16
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I use starch and steam on my wool pad because I bought it to use and that is how I want to use it. If and when it gets all a mess I'll wash the pad. It's already been felted by heat and water so a good soak, drip dry, and hot dryer isn't going to ruin it. I think after a few years of use I'll want another one anyway.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
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  17. #17
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    I also made a pillowcase for mine, using the silver ironing board fabric. Works great to keep it clean.

  18. #18
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    Seems to me covering the wool pad is defeating the purpose of using it.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  19. #19
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    Wool pressing mats and starch

    Quote Originally Posted by PamelaOry View Post
    I need help figuring out how to set up my ironing station. My husband has agreed to build me something that has storage under it. I found this wool mat that is 22x60 which would be the perfect size for covering the top, Im just worried about starch and flatter spray ruining the wool mat. What do those with wool mats do to protect from starch or are they washable?

    The web site for Wooly Felted Wonders (https://www.woolyfeltedwonders.com) has GREAT CARE instructions on their site; see "Care Instructions". I have one of their pressing mats and have not had a problem with using starch. I tend to go lighter on the starch and use my water sprayer more often. But as someone else mentioned, the mats draw moisture from the air; these mats are super.

  20. #20
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I asked the Featherweight Shop where I got mine and here is what he said:

    Aren’t those mats just great! I’ve been using mine for a few months now…I keep it right next to my machine for daily use. I haven’t done anything special with mine for maintenance and there’s nothing on the instructions. If you really feel you need to wash it at some point in the future, I would use cool to room temp water and wool-safe soap. HOWEVER, as thick as this is, drying time could be lengthy. So unless you really feel the need, I’d leave as is.

    I use Best Press often and 1 time I sprayed too heavily and did notice a tiny bit of scorching. But when I use it like intended, I’ve had no problem at all. I also use Flatter (which is similar to a light starch or sizing) and I’ve had no trouble with that either.

    I hope this helps!
    Merry Christmas! And please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions!
    Happy Sewing!
    Lou

    So I'm just going to use it, wash when needed, and as Onebyone said if it starts to fail me I'll get a new one.

  21. #21
    Super Member sewingitalltogether's Avatar
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    I think I need one too. Will have to wait until after Christmas to buy one. I'm looking at the 17' x 24" one.

  22. #22
    Super Member peaceandjoy's Avatar
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    Wool is very irritating to my skin (possibly the lanolin), so I put my mat in an old pillowcase. I also have a wool mat on my Better Board; I covered it with a layer of quilting cotton. Both covers are thin enough that the wool serves its purpose; they also protect from Best Press.

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