Monday, March 3, 2014

I hate ironing but..

I am anal and hate creased clothes even more than I hate ironing. Actually I have to admit that I iron my sheets too. I think it is probably normal to iron pillow cases, but I don't like crumpled sheets, and I like to see my linen closet neat and tidy and I know I can fit more into it if the sheets have been ironed and folded.

My old iron with the offending cable
I bought a new iron a couple of years ago, and didn't put nearly enough thought into what I was buying. The iron is OK, it does the job, but I have two major issues with it (apart from the fact that it is an iron). One is that it just doesn't do the job properly, and two is that the cord doesn't lie flat when I am ironing, that is it sticks into my wrist no matter how I try to avoid it, and after an hour of ironing the plastic protector around the flex causes me considerable discomfort as it constantly rubs against the same spot on my wrist.

So, even though the iron is still in perfect working order, I decided it was time to get a newer, better, model. I justified this extravagance based on the fact that I can relegate the old iron to my embroidery table, and use it for iron on stabilizer and occasionally ironing creases out of items about to be embroidered.

1950's iron
In my life I have had experience with so many different irons, from the plain and simple flat iron with no steam or spray features from my childhood, where we had to damp the clothes down before ironing, or iron through a damp cloth for heavier items, to a fancy cordless steam iron, and many others.


The cordless iron was just irritating, if you didn't replace it in its base regularly it cooled down and not only ceased to function properly, it dripped water everywhere.

The latest purchase made me stop and think. I did some searches on the Internet and started to see remarks about 'auto switch' and 'wattage'. My iron has an auto switch though I didn't know it when I bought it, and that function has proved useful. I am an early riser and so normally do my ironing at about 5 a.m. on Sunday morning, hence distractions are almost non existent, but I have occasionally used the iron during more civilized hours and then, if I am distracted by the phone, or something else, I discovered that my iron had shut itself off. I decided I liked that and would be sure to have it in my new iron.

I am embarrassed to say it never occurred to me that irons would come in different wattage - I suppose if I had giving it any thought I would have realized there was a good reason for the wide variation in prices. And I am aware that the higher the wattage the more effective the iron will be. So that became another of my 'must have' items.

I believe my old iron was only 1200 watts - you do get what you pay for - my new iron has an auto switch and is a hefty 1800 watts - though I believe it is possible to get them up to 2400 watts! 1800 appears to be perfectly adequate, and I do notice a big difference. Best of all, the ball and socket works, both irons do have this feature but the older iron's ball doesn't rotate sufficiently to put the cable flat, the new iron does I am happy to say.

Cable caught
Also in an effort to make an unpleasant task easier, I have a large, sturdy ironing board with plenty of surface space to get those sheets ironed easily, it is 49 inches x 18 inches and has a silicon covered metal extension to hold the iron.

Problem in the design of this board is that there is a small space between this extension and the ironing surface, just the right size for the iron's cord to get caught in.

flex holder

I have struggled with this for too long and decided I had to come up with something to prevent this happening. I remembered way back in the past, having a flex holder. It was a flexible arm with a loop at the top to thread the flex through, and a clamp at the bottom to hold it to the side of the ironing board.

I will look for one, but I wanted an immediate solution to protect the cable from being damaged so I came up with this (see photo on right) it is the outer ring of a very small embroidery hoop and works so well I might not need to buy anything else.

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