Friday 20 March 2015

How I Make Ironing Matts

I thought everyone had an ironing matt?
I love being able to iron on the spot and I find that it makes workshops all the smoother when you aren't waiting for your turn at the ironing board. When I'm sewing at home, (if I have the space) these matts mean I can make an ironing station right next to my sewing machine so I don't have to go and use the ironing board in between stitching - great if you've got a WIP pile like mine.

I don't really know what to call them - ironing boards, mobile ironing matts, table top ironing protectors? I thought everyone had these (apart from new quilters in workshops) so I was surprised that any of you were interested in seeing more of mine. Basically they allow me to iron on a table without the heat transferring through to the table or surface below. The matt is usable on both sides if you use a firm canvas fabric on the bottom layer. It's such a handy thing to have and it makes any area a perfect ironing spot!

Teflon pressing sheet
Double layered 100% wool batting (I've used Matilda's Own)
Canvas (or thick cotton). I used fusible canvas - it's usually used on men's shirt collars, this fabric is extra strong and has the added bonus of having a fusible side. This is what I used. You could use canvas instead which I do recommend.
Liquid stitch glue

I press the canvas to 1 layer of the wool batting. This canvas is my underside. Then, I apply liquid stitch glue to the batting and position another later of batting on top of that ( a double later of wool batting). Using glue simply prevents it all from shifting around. Next I lightly add some glue on the top of the batting sandwich and add the Teflon fabric - this is the top non stick surface. Teflon fabric does not have a fusible layer and this is why I glued it down lightly to the batting, then ironed it into position. Once set, I stitch my 'sandwich' together. On the top edge only with a simple straight stitch. I also add a hanging loop for easy storage. I have not over locked the edges simply because I don't want any indents showing through if I iron something delicate.

With my left over fabric, I also made an additional seam presser which is simply rolled up wool batting enclosed in the Teflon fabric - super handy. Mine is inches long by 2 inch wide and I find it super versatile.

This is the Teflon fabric, I purchased mine from a specialty store about 10 years ago now.
This is the bottom layer side. I ironed my stiff fusible cotton to the batting, this is the underside
Now I glue to top of the batting (the cotton is the bottom) and add another later of wool batting
Lastly I add my Teflon top layer of fabric. The Teflon fabric I have is not fusible, so I need the glue to keep it all neatly in place.
Then I simply ironed it all down firmly before simply stitching it together at the edge seam.
 with my leftover Teflon fabric, I made a roll for ironing seams 
 and added a loop for easy hanging
You can purchase Teflon fabric at some specialty fabric stores, and this is what I did. The only online seller offering Teflon that I have been able to find is Valerie Hearder who is in Canada. Here is a link to her supply shop area. 

If you make this ironing matt, please test it before using it on your table surface. If you need to, you can increase the wool batting layer. And if you're really worried about a table surface you can opt for a wad of newspaper to go underneath your matt when using it. Personally I have found this version to work perfectly for me and protect all the table surfaces it has been used on - but I can't guarantee any one else s experience owing to variations on fabrics and battings, so please test first.

What do you think? Do you have one? 
How did you make yours?


  1. Thanks so much for showing this.....

  2. Great info, thanks Esther. What is the minimum size you would recommend?

  3. I love your pressing mat and have a couple of questions, #1 what size is it, it looks to be a decently large size (although I guess you could make it any size you want, limited only by the fabric. #2 do I understand correctly that you only sewed along one edge, the top one. which brings me to #3 if you only sewed one edge, don't the layers shift or does the glue hold them together.
    If only the top edge is stitched, I'd be inclined to use a lightweight double sided fusible like steam-a-seam to hold the layers together or do you see a potential problem with using this.
    Thank you so much for this post, I know that someday I'll have to replace the Turkish toweling yardage that I'm using now and this looks like a fantastic idea.
    Best regards ~ Brenda


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