Readers, when it comes to sewing tools, I'm pretty old-school.
Sure, I own a serger (the ubiquitous Brother 1034D), but that's the only modern piece of equipment I use.
Oh, and my Black & Decker "Digital Advantage" D2030 iron. Actually, the one I'm using now is my second. The first one I owned, which I purchased in 2009, lasted roughly three years (of constant use), until the digital part conked out and I could no longer turn it on. My current Black & Decker isn't fully functional anymore either. About a year ago, the steam stopped pumping reliably. Rather than purchase another iron, however, I just decided to use the iron without the steam. I keep a spray bottle on my ironing table, and I either spray water directly onto my fabric or onto a press cloth. This method works great and it's what I'm going to use until my iron completely dies, or I do.
Lately I've become aware of another option: garment steamers. It seems that they can remove wrinkles from clothes easily and without the wear and tear that irons can cause to your garments over time. And they work fast.
Like most home appliances, you can find cheap versions and costly versions, but the basic concept is the same: a tank of water is heated to boiling, the steam comes out of a tube, and you apply the steam to your garment (generally on a hanger). There are also hand-held portable steamers but I don't know if those are as powerful.
As much as I hate the idea of bringing another plasticky Made in China appliance into my home, I do wonder if this is something that would enhance my sewing life.
There are two things I'm wondering: are steamers better at removing wrinkles from synthetics and synthetic blends (neither of which I tend to wear and/or sew with) than natural fibers, and, would I use a steamer on a regular basis: is the set-up easy and fast? (Actually that's three questions.)
I hang my pants on shirt hangers (folded over the top) and a lot of times this produces wrinkles that, if I had a steamer, would be a cinch to remove (I'm thinking). I use my iron nearly every day, either to press my own clothes, Michael's, or my mother's, not to mention whatever sewing project I happen to be working on. Would a steamer speed things up?
In closing, I ask you:
Do you own a garment steamer?
Do you iron less as a result of having one?
Is a garment steamer something you'd recommend to others (i.e., to me)?
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!