As anybody who’s been quilting for a while will tell you, having a good iron is very important, especially if you’re planning to quilt professionally. Otherwise, you’ll constantly have to deal with frayed quilts. And trust me, even if no one says it, that is not a good look. However, with so many quilting irons on the market, how will you ever choose? Well, that is where we come in.
We will guide you on how to choose a good iron and even go a step further and recommend a few. Ultimately, we intend to make your quilting iron shopping experience as painless as possible. So sit back and relax; we’ve got you covered.
What to consider when buying a quilting iron
As a quilter, there are some things to keep in mind when choosing an iron. These include:
Since you will be using your iron frequently, you need something that can apply the required pressure on your fabric without causing strain to your hand. In short, it should neither be too heavy nor too light.
Since you will sometimes have to deal with delicate fabric, your iron should have a soleplate that can easily glide over it without sticking to it. As such, you should always opt for stainless steel or ceramic soleplates.
- Heat settings
First of all, no one wants an iron that takes too long to heat up. The shorter the heat up time, the better. Also, it is best to go with an iron that lets you choose the amount of heat you need depending on the fabric you’re working on. This can help you avoid a lot of mishaps.
While popularly overlooked, the brand of your iron is important. Some brands just have a better reputation than others and generally produce better irons. A few reputable ones include Singer, Rowenta, and Oliso.
- Cord length
This is yet another important thing quilters tend to overlook. In fact, I have seen many who have bought a new iron only to discover that its cord is just too short to allow them to move around a quilt. To avoid this predicament, always go for an iron with a long cord, or better still get a cordless one.
Different irons come with different controls. While some come with dials or sliders, some even feature digital controls. It is up to you to choose which you prefer.
- Dry / steam iron
Anyone buying an iron needs to decide whether they should go for a dry one or a wet one. And while this is primarily a preference issue, it must be said that a steam iron comes with additional benefits that a dry iron just can’t provide.
First of all, the steam function helps you eliminate very stubborn creases quickly and effectively. Also, it helps that you can easily switch back to dry iron mode when you want, so you’re really getting a 2-in-1.
- Steam pressure
If you decide to go for a steam iron, you need to ensure that its steam output is just right. Ideally, it should release a good amount of steam at high pressure. This will make it more effective in removing wrinkles.
- Water tank capacity and capability
Another thing you should look into when buying a steam iron is how much water its tank can accommodate. While most carry around 1 to 5 ounces of water, a few carry more. And as a person who quilts regularly, these are the irons you should target. They will at least reduce the times you have to refill the tank while ironing a quilt.
Also, don’t forget to confirm whether your tank can handle tap water. Some easily suffer from calcium buildup and can only take bottled water.
- Durability and safety
To ensure your safety and a long iron lifespan, ensure any iron you buy is of high quality and doesn’t leak.
The 5 best quilting irons
This 1700-Watt iron comes with features that make it extremely easy to use. For instance, it has an LCD display with 9 temperature settings to choose from. Moreover, its smart auto-shutoff feature ensures it turns off if left unattended. And to sweeten the pot, its anti-drip design prevents leaks. If safety is your first priority, this is definitely the iron for you.
If you’re looking for a powerful iron, this is it. With 5 bars of steam pressure and a large 47-ounce removable water tank, the Rowenta DG8520 can work effectively for long periods of time. Undeniably, this is a great feature to have if you constantly have to iron large quilts.
Moreover, it helps that it doesn’t scale and comes with an eco setting that saves 20% of energy. Ultimately, the only major downside to this iron is that it lacks an auto-shutoff function.
When it comes to cordless irons, there is none quite like the Panasonic NI-WL600. It has a sleek ergonomic design and a double-tipped 360-degree soleplate to boot. Not only does this allow you to comfortably iron in any direction, but it also makes your ironing effortless.
Interestingly, this iron also features a cool anti-drip system and a heat resistant carrying case. Ultimately, it is the perfect iron for quilters who are always on the go. Our only complaint is that its water capacity is a meager 4 ounces.
If you are on a tight budget but still want something decent, this professional steam iron is the best fit for you. It features a 3-way auto-shutoff function, an audible ready alert, a 12-ounce water tank, and an LCD screen with temperature settings. All things considered, it offers a lot for its price point.
With 1800 Watts of power and innovative iTouch technology, this iron not only heats up quickly but also prevents burns and scorching. Moreover, its stainless steel soleplate is finished with a thick layer of chromium that makes it scratch-resistant and durable. You also get a cool auto-shutoff feature and 3 steam settings. Needless to say, this iron is every quilter’s dream.
Get what you need…
If there is one thing you should remember when buying a quilting iron, it is this; prioritize your most urgent needs. Don’t buy something just because it’s popular or luxurious; be sure to choose the right fit for your needs!