This is one of those posts I’ve been meaning to write FOREVER. Almost every time I turn my iron on, I say to myself, the most complicated relationship in my life is with my iron.
I am a heavy duty bit maker which means my iron gets a real workout every time we are together.
For many years, I used a version of the Rowenta DG5030 Pro Iron Steam Station, but I kept burning them up. Almost every year, I would have to replace this iron, and even with a Joann’s coupon it was still a spendy endeavor. At least $125 per iron.
Next, I paid BIG bucks for a fancy dancy iron from a Sew & Vac. Such big bucks that I am not even going to tell you the amount. I can’t remember the brand—I do believe I have blocked it from my memory. What a shitty relationship that was. After sending this “repairable” iron to Oregon twice, I was told that my demands were too high. NO IRON would function at the level I needed is kind of exactly what I was told.
After that, I went through a long period of using vintage irons I would find on Ebay. These irons were mostly solid to work with, but I have to be honest I burned them up too–mostly by dropping them.
I was good at finding quality vintage irons for reasonable prices on Ebay, but the shipping on these beast is almost always twenty bucks or more. And sometimes the seller might kind of sort of hide the condition of the ironing surface, or the cord, or the water tank.
A couple of years ago, at the International Quilt Festival, I purchased a Eurosteam 1000w. I paid around $200 and that included shipping.
At the time, I was making a lot of garments. I feel in love with this iron. I never had to change the temperature on it. From thick fleece to linen, it did the job without complaining. It was an excellent steamer.
And then I needed to make a very large quilt. I imagine you know what happened next. I burned the dang thing up.
The quilt HOME is a incredible labor of love based on my amazing experience working with the residents of Moore Place. If you would like to learn more about this quilt you can by following this link.
I once again, I went back to my vintage iron collection.
In the meantime, I was trying to figure out what was the best iron to use out in McCarthy where I work off the grid in a solor powered studio.
I needed a low watted baby to iron with out there. After conducting some reasearch I happened upon this little cutie. It is a Steamfast portable iron and for 25 bucks it does the job.
I have two of them, and they are great. I have used them for several years now. Of course the water tank is tiny, but that is a drawback I can live with being that these things are solar compatitable. I highly reccommend them for travel. It is important not to over fill them AND do not try and iron until they are completely heated up. You can wait. It takes about minute.
One of the things I noticed about my vintage irons and the Steamfast irons is that they do not have a steam button. They have a steam setting which you turn off and on. It makes them sound like Sleestacks.
They go Hiss Hiss Hiss at a regular rate. It is a beautiful sound. Hiss. Hiss. Hiss.
You can make the noise yourself by placing your tongue between your top and bottom teeth and breathing. Hiss. Hiss. Hiss.
This got me thinking. I was going about this all wrong. I was looking for a new iron to meet my old iron needs.
I want STEAM but not steam that is delivered by pressing a button. I do not want an auto off. I finally had articulated to myself what it was I was looking for and new irons were not the solution.
Then I realized. I need more than one iron to do my work.
I need the little baby for McCarthy and travel.
They had what I was looking for. They were Sleestack irons! They were old school Beaters with heaters.
I would love to hear your iron stories too.