Which Iron for Perfect Pressing and Professional Sewing Results …

angela wolf pressing 1 I recall a class I taught years ago, one of the students gave me a review “great class, she is a pressing fanatic!”  Well, that is true.  In reality, pressing is what makes your sewing look professional.  I thought I would share how I have my studio set up:

angela wolf pressing 2

My all time favorite iron is the Hot Steam SGB-600 and I can’t believe how long I went without splurging on such a reasonably priced powerhouse steam iron.  This iron plugs into a standard outlet (make sure to check that when researching commercial steam irons) and has a water container that holds almost an entire gallon of distilled water.  The water container is attached to a wall and then the hose needs to hang from the ceiling or a high point.  I have ceiling tiles in my studio and I am using clips that would typically hold a plant, I think I found them at Ace Hardware.

angela wolf pressing 5

The iron came with the rubber mat, which is nice!  I added the Iron Shoe which allows you press ANYTHING and it won’t leave shiny marks – even on cheap satin and poly!  I will share more about that later.

One more thing, this iron has a powerful burst of steam and it DOES NOT leak, yeah!  Have you ever ruined fabric  from a leaky iron?  Um, this brings back a memory … years ago, I was making a custom suit for a client.  Just visualize a rich colored brown fabric – silk, wool blend.  My iron was having a bad day and a few drips (or I should say a burst of drips) later the suit ended up in the trash.  Very expensive fabric, but I couldn’t get the spots out!  I have had this iron for quite a while and have never had as much as a drop.  

angela wolf pressing 3

Did I mention, I can’t stand irons that automatically turn off!  What a waste of time, it’s never hot when you need it.  That being said I do keep around a couple inexpensive Rowenta’s
for applying interfacing.  They are easy to clean, very hot, and don’t usually leak (I say that with a squint in my eye as every iron seems to have its own personality, although out of about 30 Rowenta’s I only had 2 that dripped and 1 that caught on fire – another eventful day in the studio!).

Tip: keep a tube of Ez-Off Iron cleaner around – perfect for removing interfacing gook!

Do you have a favorite iron or a dripping horror story to share?

12 thoughts on “Which Iron for Perfect Pressing and Professional Sewing Results …”

  1. I took a Craftsy class on making a tailored coat from Kenneth King. I loved what he said – “bad pressing can kill good sewing and good pressing can save bad sewing.” I think that is very true. I asked an instructor for a good steam iron recommendation and was told that Reliable was the best but when I checked there was no way I wanted to pay that much – $600+. So I checked around and eventually found the Hot Steam SGB600. I got it from WAWAK for $89 on sale (even the regular price of $109 is a bargain.) It’s a gravity fed iron with a water reservoir. Instead of refilling my iron every hour or two – it now last for at least a month! And great steam! I love it!


  2. I really, really appreciate the info on the blog as I have been researching irons for months & just decided not to buy one due to too many options & the costs. This iron is very affordable & I will add it to my wish list for Christmas (just missed my birthday, lol)!!


  3. I just purchased this iron from Wawak.com (which I posted in the Wardrobe Challenge and Tweeted with you on). I’ve had it up for a a couple of weeks and I am loving it. It is heavier than I’m used to and gave me quite the workout when steam shrinking 4 yards of wool! But other than that I have really enjoyed it.


  4. Thanks Angela, Je vous avais posé la question sur la leçon autour des jeans
    et là votre réponse est très complète
    Merci beaucoup Une fan française


  5. I am researching irons and wonder if you have any recommendations for a good steam iron that sits on top of a water tank? I don’t have a place to hang a water tank from the ceiling and I would like it to be portable.


  6. My mother has had a Hot Steam iron for almost 40 years and it is still working perfectly! She purchased it while working for St John Knits and felt so guilty spending the dollars, but was just saying recently how it was the best investment she ever made!


  7. Hi Angela. Thank you for showing a picture of your iron set up. I need to set up mine, but am not sure on how to hang the hose/bottle. Does the bottle need to be three feet above the iron or the hose? I sew in a room with a dropped ceiling and there isn’t much vertical space to accommodate 3 feet. I appreciate any help you can give.


  8. Thank you for the great information, you mention you have a different iron for interfacing, is this not a good iron for interfacing or ironing backing onto fabric? can it be used without steam for the occasional ironing of wonder under? Thanks so much!


    1. this is a good iron for anything, but the shoe affects the pressing process on the interfacing – so I use an inexpensive Rowenta for interfacing. Mostly because it’s on a separate ironing board and if the bottom of the iron gets icky it doesn’t matter – I clean the bottom of that iron about once a month.


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