Do you own a wool pressing mat? If not, you should consider investing in one.
Using it as a pressing surface can help you save a lot of time on pressing and ironing, some of the least pleasurable tasks in quilting and sewing - and all at an affordable price.
In this article, we will explore the four main reasons why you should be using a wool pressing mat to make prepping and finishing your projects easier.
But Why Wool?
Essentially, a wool pressing mat is a piece of felt that you can use instead of your regular ironing board.
Wool fibers have natural spring or bounce, which makes them perfect for use as a pressing surface. It's the same concept as putting your quilt on foam core board: you're adding another layer of springiness, which helps keep your fabric from getting scorched or over-pressed.
But there’s so much more to it than that. Below, we take a deep dive into why savvy quilters switch over to wool pressing mats in droves and why you should follow suit.
Wool Pressing Mat (24" X 17")
One of those investments and tools you won't want to be without whenever you sit down to sew.
1. It Irons Both Sides of Your Fabric
The first reason you should be using a wool pressing mat is because it irons both sides of your fabric at once.
When you are pressing your fabric, the heat goes down through your fabric, gets absorbed by the wool, and radiates back up into the back of your fabric.
And as a great insulator, wool keeps your heat in so that you’re spending less time with the iron on your quilting or sewing projects.
Additionally, you can use a wool pressing mat on any work surface without fearing that it will damage or burn it. The wool keeps your iron at the perfect distance from the surface.
2. It Saves Time
What if we told you there was a way to significantly reduce the amount of time you spend pressing and ironing? Well, it turns out there is a way, and it’s called a wool pressing mat.
With wool as a pressing surface, you’re taking the heat from your iron and spreading it out over a much larger surface area with the help of the springy wool fibers.
This means that your ironing will take less time since there is more area for the heat to work on, which equates to fewer trips back and forth to your ironing board.
3. It Keeps Fabric in Place
The third reason why you should be using a wool pressing mat is because it fixes your fabric in place when you’re working on it. Who hasn’t struggled with fabrics that shift as you iron or seams that curl as you move to press them?
Wool pressing mats put an end to this. The elasticity of the wool fibers holds onto the back of your fabric and also grips the mat to the pressing surface you have placed it on so that it stays taut and firm as you work. This, in turn, prevents any puckering or movement during the pressing process.
It’s impossible to be a speedy quilter if you’re running back and forth to reposition your fabric or, worse, repressing seams and edges. With a wool pressing mat, the quilt will remain in place, making your ironing process much more efficient.
4. It’s Lightweight and Portable
You don't really want to lug your ironing board to your next quilting retreat or on your weekend getaway, right?
Thanks to the lightweight and easy portability of a wool pressing mat, you don’t need to.
The whole point of bringing your iron is to complete those last-minute seam sew-ups or pesky detailed hand stitches. But it can be backbreaking work trying to lug a heavy hunk of wood or metal frame on your next getaway.
It’s time to lighten things up - a wool pressing mat and your travel iron are all you need for pressing on the go. The mat will take up practically zero space in your travel gear. With no fuss and muss, just whip out your press cloth and use your wool pad to keep from scorching those delicate seams or hand stitches as you finish off your last-minute work.
As an added benefit, these mats also take up very little room when stored.
Read More: Sewing Interfacing: What You Need To Know
The Cons of Using a Wool Pressing Mat
As great as a pressing mat may be, it’s not a silver bullet. There are just a few things to keep in mind before you throw out your ironing board.
It’s Hard to Find Quality
While there are a lot of manufacturers of wool pressing mats on the market now, there are still many people who have trouble finding quality products.
The main reason is that it’s easy for manufacturers to cut corners or use inferior materials in their efforts to make as many of these mats as possible.
The low-quality materials or production methods can often lead to mats that are too thick or retain too much of the heat from your iron.
This means it can actually take longer to press your fabric, which defeats on of the main purposes of a wool pressing mat.
On the other hand, Love Sew’s wool pressing mats are made with premium New Zealand wool, helping you drastically reduce the time you spend on pressing and ironing.
Wool Ironing Board Cover
100% wool makes this board the perfect ironing surface for all your quilt block and fabric pressing needs.
It’s Hard to Find a Large Mat
Most manufacturers seem to stick with 16” x 24” or 32” square mats, which crafters worry could restrict their ability to work with large pieces of fabric or big projects like quilts.
But while a larger mat may seem to be a better option when it comes to working on bigger projects, it’s not absolutely necessary.
In fact, the contours of your wool pressing mat will comfortably fit into most ironing board covers, meaning that you can just fold up your fabric as needed and place it on top of your smaller surface.
As long as your fabric is folded in half, you should be able to iron the crease out flat so that it can be easily laid out on your mat.
Make Your Life Easier
It's not just quilters who love wool pressing mats - so do sewing professionals and textile artists. It's easy to understand why with all of the benefits that these mats provide for quick, easy fabric manipulation.
If you'd like to cut down on your ironing time and focus more on creating your next project, this handy tool will quickly become one of your favorites.
For more products designed to make your sewing or quilting experience a lot more efficient and enjoyable, check out our catalog.