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Six Things You Need To Consider When Buying A Stream Iron - by Colleen Lea

Getting Hot And Bothered!

A steam iron is just a steam iron! Isn’t it?  The honest answer is NO!  A steam iron is just about as an important choice at the time of purchase, as it is when buying your sewing machine.  Both are composite and crucial in completing sewing projects to a high and professional standard.  If you’ve been a reader of Fashion Sewing Blog for some time, or know the basics of fashion sewing, then you’ll know the phrase -

‘Sew, Press, Sew, Press’!

For any successful fashion sewing project to allude style, grace and that long sought after professional edge, we know to sew and then press as we go!  Hence, your choice of steam iron is of great importance.  Admittedly, there is almost an endless choice of steam irons out there. It can be difficult to say the least, trying to figure out just what to look for.  So, I’ve compiled a six-point list to try and help you make that all important choice that little easier.


Six Things You Need To Consider When Buying A Stream Iron

1 – Weight. Steam irons come in many different weights. Some are from the lighter range, increasing in weight to the very heavy.  You should aim to buy an iron, medium to heavy in weight. This will then enable you to work with a wide range of fabric types without fear that your steam iron won’t be able to adapt.

2 – Shape. Our aim is to purchase a steam iron that’s ‘point‘ is as narrow as possible.  As a fashion sewer, we need our steam irons to effortlessly glide into all of those small, hard to reach, tiny areas. If the iron is to wide or thick, then no matter how hard you try, those problem areas will remain just that.

3 – Fabric Selector. When you purchase your steam iron,  look for models that can be used on varied types of fabric.  Check the fabric selector to ensure the model you’re purchasing can be used on the fabric types you generally use.

4 – Water. Every steam iron holds a different amount of water. This will effect the irons weight so it needs to be considered at an early stage.  Too little water and you’ll be forever topping the steam iron up as you go. Too much and the iron can become cumbersome. Again, gauge what types of project you’ll use the steam iron on. Will you be using a lot of steam or just sporadic bursts?

5 – Steam Jets. Look at the sole of each steam iron to see how many steam jets it comprises of.

6 – The Flex. Most steam irons have a standardised flex length. Do make sure it’s long enough to enable easy use.
Now I know all of the above sounds a little too much like common sense, but when your faced with an army of steam irons in the store, we sometimes soon forget the basics.
NB – Also remember that this wonderful fashion sewing tool, created to give you the professional finish on garments, will unfortunately be used for the more ‘mundane‘ tasks such as every day laundry ironing.  Buy a model that feels comfortable!

Other Things To Consider:

  • Does it have an anti drip device?
  • Does it have an anti scale system?
  • What other features does the steam iron have?
  • What is the power output of the steam iron in Wattage?
  • What safety features does it have?

The Future Of Steam Irons

Even the quickest look around the internet or local store will show how different, varied and innovative steam irons of today are. In another six months, I’m quite sure that there will be even more new, helpful and exciting features to make our sewing projects (and laundry ironing) that little bit easier.


Oliso TG-1100

So there we have it fashion sewers. A quick and simple guide to aid you when next you purchase or upgrade your steam iron.

by Colleen G. Lea


Colleen G. Lea uses her passion for teaching, along with many years spent within the fashion industry to educate and invigorate fashion sewers.  Watch her many excellent sewing video tutorials here!

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