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You know those grey felted wool pressing mats that have become so popular? And how expensive they are? Today I took 5 sheets of ordinary craft felt--9x12 from Joann's--and pressed them together in a stack. They did not melt or do anything weird on a wool setting with steam. I think I'm going to do some big hand-stitches around the edges to keep them from shifting, and try them out on my next project. I'll let you know the results.
Sue in iL
will be waiting for the results!!
That's why I'm hoping the inexpensive stuff works. The craft felt was $.49 a sheet; the small -size wool mat is about $35.00. So far the craft felt seems to be usable, not melting at all and doesn't feel warm underneath even after I give several layers a lot of steam. I'll have some piecing to do tomorrow, so I'll post an update.
Sue in IL
When I press seams open in working with my quilting blocks I do not use steam and I use a cotton setting on my vintage iron which is quite hot. I could not use those polyester craft felt fabrics like you are describing because my vintage iron would melt the poly felt after a good workout. The felted wool gets warm but doesn't react badly to my hot iron.
We obviously have chosen to use different techniques to flatten our seams.
I don't usually use steam either, but I was trying to give the craft felt a test of the hottest, steamiest conditions to see how much it could take. The video demonstrations of the wool mats show that fabrics don't slide or go wonky when they're pressed on it. That's a test for tomorrow!
Sue in IL
Hey-- it's worth a shot. I don't know why it wouldn't work. Personally, I can't see spending so much $ on one of those wool mats. I have a yard of wool that I washed several times in hot water to "felt" it. I guess I wasn't impressed with it enough to want to spend big dollars for a real pressing mat.
A couple years ago, some of us here in Texas-and Patty in Oklahoma went to the Dallas Quilt Show. Patty and Dee went in together on the large wool mat, then they cut it in half. Dee kept hers in half, Patty cut her half in half and I paid her my half of her half. Lol sounds crazy but it was a great savings for the 3 of us.
Well, I used a stack of 6 sheets today, and everything turned out fine. No slippage, no heat going through to the bottom layer. I did not use steam, irin set on cotton, and seams pressed open crisply. I do not have a wool mat to make a comparison with, but $4 of Joann's polyester felt worked pretty well. If you try this, let me know how it goes for you.
sue in IL