What Type Of Iron Is Best For Sewing ?
I think it’s no surprise that pressing is the key to professional-looking garments. Therefore, your iron is such an important tool in your sewing space! Here we are going to dive into the most important features that you want to look at when you buy your new iron for sewing!
Before we dive into the specifics of our irons, I want to mention that “Our iron is only as good as our technique”.
When I am making a garment, I like to press as I sew. This means that if I sew a shoulder seam, I will press it before I move on to attaching the sleeve. That way, our intersecting seams are already pressed flat. So when you overlap the seams it leads to a much neater garment.
What features should we look for:
The first question you want to ask yourself is what kind of sewing are you going to be doing. Will you be sewing a lot of delicate clothing? Will you be quilting?
In general, there are really only two different types of irons – a steam iron and a steam generator. Steam iron is your standard type of iron that you can find in your general stores such as Target or in some sewing stores. A steam generator iron has a large water tank below where it keeps the water warm.
If you’re just starting out, regular steam is just fine. However, if you’re thinking to sew professionally and will be making garments in a sort of assembly line manner, tailoring, or even making couture garments, then you may want to consider getting a steam generator.
Generally, you can grab a steam iron for around 20-100 dollars. Steam generators are a bit more pricey and tend to come in anywhere from 70 dollars right up to mine which is 1,500 dollars.
I always hear a lot of people asking about wattage. But, my experience is that wattage only makes a difference in the warm-up time of the iron. An iron with a high wattage will heat up faster, and iron with lower wattage will take a little while longer to warm up.
The most important thing, in my opinion, that we want to be looking out for is the steam output. Essentially, the higher the steam output, the better your iron is going to press your garment. So, whether you are looking for a handheld or a steam generator iron, you want to make sure it has at least 50 grams per minute steam output – anything up from that is a bonus!
Heat Settings :
You may also want to check your heat settings. In a general steam iron, you may have settings such as low, medium, and high. However, with more high-end/ steam generators you can usually be a little more precise which will be helpful if you are going to be sewing delicates/bridal wear.
Tank Capacity :
The next thing you will need to consider is the tank capacity. Really, all this changes is how often you have to put water in your iron. In a steam iron, you have a relatively small tank capacity, whereas in a steam generator such as mine, it is much bigger and it’s very seldom you need to fill the water. This is obviously depending on how much ironing you are planning to do.
Auto-off Feature :
The final feature to consider is a love/hate thing – the auto-off feature. The auto-off feature is a safety feature a lot of home irons have and it basically tells the iron to shut off after a certain amount of time of inactivity. Some people like this because it gives you peace of mind that you never have to worry that your iron has accidentally been left on. My iron has a manual turn-on/off which I prefer because sometimes I will go 10 minutes without ironing and then I will return back to the board. So if the iron has turned itself off when you get back to the board you have to wait for it to heat back up again. As I said, it’s a love/hate feature.
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I hope these tips have been helpful and give you some peace of mind when buying your next iron! Feel free to drop your queries in the comments 🙂
Until next time!