I never gave much thought to my iron until this spring. At spring Quilt Market I saw a demonstration of the LauraStar Lift steam iron in the Joya Distributing, Inc. booth. I was given my unit to use and review. I know it's taken me awhile to get to the review, but I've also had several months now to use the product and I'm in love!
Think about it, as a quilter or maybe you're more of a garment sewer? When we are sewing, other than our sewing machine, what other tools do we use the most? Our irons! Mine is on for the entire day sometimes and is an integral component in every step of patchwork but possibly to most overlooked tool in our toolbox.
The Laurastar Lift is a steam generator iron. In the past, I was not one to use the steam function on my regular iron because I felt it distorted the fabrics, spotted, and leaked all over the place. I certainly was hesitant when I heard during the Quilt Market demo how this Laurastar Lift iron worked on steam. The demo showed how this beautifully Swiss engineered iron diffuses an ultra-fine, powerful steam into the fabric which opens up the fibers. The 3D iron soleplate straightens the fabric while steam is injected onto its entire surface to effortlessly eliminate creases. Fibers are therefore thoroughly refreshed and incredibly flat.
It's hard to show in a photo how much steam is coming through this iron, but trust me, it's impressive. You could easily steam a garment that's hanging. You have to ability to pulse or hold the steam function with the white buttons on the front of the handle.
Weighing in at only 2.2 pounds, I find this iron very easy to use and I have small hands. Did I mention how sleek and pretty it is too!
The unit came with an additional shoe soleplate for delicate fabrics like this new Fusion fabrics rayon from Art Gallery Fabrics in a newly recoloring of my Tiny Dancer print. And no, I didn't iron this fabric because it's still on the bolt :)
My unit has two settings. Three dots indicates the hottest setting.
The unit also comes with a silicone iron rest because this iron sits flat on its soleplate when not in use.
And, although I still have a huge pile of shirts and garments that need ironing, I did test out the Laurastar Lift on a denim shirt and the results made the blouse look like brand new!
There's so much to talk about, I haven't even gotten to the tank and it's benefits. To generate the powerful steam the Laurastar Lift need a water reservoir tank and the hose that's connected to the iron. The removable water tank can be filled straight from your tap and filters the water through filter cartridge. The cartridge would need to be replaced about once a year. The unit will let you know when the filter needs to be changed. I went ahead and bought a three-pack so I'm set for about 4 years!
The generator/tank can be a bit noisy when it's filling the heating water chamber but that last about 10 seconds and I don't even notice it anymore. If the water level in the removable tank gets low, the unit will beep at you to refill. You can place the tank on your ironing board but I prefer to have it on the floor. The cord is long enough and the unit comes with an attachment that holds the cord up and out of the way. It's very nice not having to struggle against a cord anymore.
The unit will automatically shut off after 10 minutes of being idle. At first I thought this was an annoyance but soon discovered it really doesn't slow me down one bit while I'm sewing patchwork. For one thing, this baby is hot and by automatically turning itself off you are conserving energy and not heating up your workspace. The second thing that I discovered that made this a non-issue is the iron heats back up very quickly and even if it's turned itself off between usage the sole plate remains hotter than my regular iron in use and I can still press my patchwork without the steam function because the steam function is only available when the unit is sufficiently heated up to temperature.
Cleaning the soleplate is easy with this special So Clean cleaning pad. Simply rub the cold iron back and forth on the pad. Once you heat up the iron, pulse steam through it and wipe with a clean cloth.
I went ahead and purchased the lovely Laurastar ironing board because it seemed ridiculous to have such a sleek tool as this and still use my old, rickety ironing board. I do feel quite professional now and truly believe my patchwork is more precise since I've been using it. The seams lay super flat and without distortion.
I encourage any serious sewist to at least look into upgrading your iron. The difference is astounding. I have an affiliated link with Amazon for a unit like the one I have. Yes, this baby is pricey, but definitely a must for any serious sewer. Your patchwork and clothes will thank you!