In October I sadly had to say goodbye to my old iron. It had been a constant companion during my sewing journey and suddenly it failed to heat up. As it turned out, the cord had become damaged, exposing some of the electric wires. Even if it had still wanted to heat up it had become dangerous to turn it on.
I can’t sew without an iron (well, I suppose I could, but I don’t want to!), because pressing is essential when you want to create professional looking items. I had to make sure I got a new one fast. My first and almost immediate solution was to borrow my sister’s iron because she doesn’t use hers all that much. The next step was to do some research to see which one I’d like to get.
What I found really difficult about buying a new iron is that you can’t test them in a store. I haven’t used a lot of different irons in my life so that also makes it quite difficult to know what the differences between the various brands and models are. You simply have to depend on the information provided by the manufacturer and online reviews.
Requirements for my new iron:
- Adjustable amount of steam (Some fabrics need more than others.)
- Adjustable temperature (You can get some irons nowadays that claim to work always with every fabric and you don’t ever have to change a setting. I simply don’t believe that this is true.)
- Option to turn steam off for foundation paper piecing and unwrinkling of tissue paper patterns (steam + paper = bad idea)
- Auto-shut off when it isn’t in use for a certain amount of time (Safety and energy saving reasons.)
- Not too heavy (I don’t want to get tired from just using an iron.)
- Drip prevention (Don’t you hate it when your iron suddenly starts to leak all over your pretty project?)
- A function to remove calc from inside the iron (I had this function on my old iron and found it extremely useful. If I forgot to use it for a while the iron started spitting calc on my projects which you really don’t want to happen.)
- Decent length cord (I want to have some flexibility in where I place my ironing board and not be completely limited by the location of power outlets.)
- Less than € 100,- (I don’t think you need a very expensive iron to get good results.)
Eventually I decided on the Philips EcoCare GC3760. It fit all of my requirements. My previous iron was a Philips Azur40 and it lasted more than 15 years (it used to be my parents’ iron before I got it) and I liked it a lot. The iron I borrowed from my sister was a Philips EnergyCare (don’t remember which model, but I tried to look for it during my research and you can’t buy it anymore) and I enjoyed using hers. Her iron was definitely an improvement from my old one, which I already thought was pretty good. The GC3760 appeared to be quite similar to hers so it seemed a safe bet.
So, how do I like my new iron you might wonder?
It is definitely much more powerful than my old one. It can produce massive amounts of steam and sometimes it makes my glasses fog over when I get too close. That never happened before. I get wrinkles out a lot faster now. I think it heats up pretty fast, so when it automatically shuts off because I haven’t used it in a while I don’t have to wait long before I can press my seam. I am a huge fan of the auto shut-off. I am always worried that I forget to turn off my iron when I am finished sewing or have to run downstairs because I hear the telephone ringing and now I have an extra safety precaution (I still make sure to switch it off though). I also like the soleplate, it is very smooth.
The drip prevention doesn’t work 100%, I have had some drippage. It wasn’t a lot though and it certainly doesn’t happen as often as with my old iron. I do run out of water sooner than with my old iron but considering how much more steam it creates compared to the old one this isn’t all that surprising. When I am pressing a very large piece, for example some pre-washed yardage, it sometimes stops producing steam and won’t produce more until I put it upright for a little while. I’m not really sure why this happens (it has to recover?) but it only happens occassionally so I don’t mind too much. The first couple of times that I used it the iron made a lot of noise when I put it upright but that has disappeared. Overall I am happy with my decision and hope this iron will last as long as my old one.
Which iron do you have and do you like it? Does your iron have features that I didn’t mention in my list but that you really like?