Yesterday, me and the girls ( Christina , Sarah, & Liz ) went to the sewing festival over at our local fairgrounds. Although quite a small vendor get together, there were a few useful bits of information I thought you all might find handy.
If your like me, your self healing mat gets used quite a bit, especially around the holiday time of year. I am finding myself buying a new mat much to frequently. So here is some easy home remedies to make your self healing mat, as well as your blades last much longer. (This info is directly from an olfa dealer).
Directions :: Fill you bathtub with room temperature water (not hot, not warm, and not cold) In the water add 1/4 cup of white vinegar and a squirt of dove dish soap for a good lather. Use a mushroom brush (soft bristle brush) and scrub the mat gently getting a good lather with the soap. Then rinse your self healing mat with cool water getting all residue off the mat. You can dry it with a cotton towel, or air dry. It does not matter how you choose to dry it. (Do not dry it in direct sunlight or it could damage the mat)
The reason for this method is the materials that make your self healing mat absorb the water and make the mat supple again. Not only does this make your mat last longer, but it keeps your blades from dulling so quickly because you are cutting into a softer surface. Makes sense right?
I could have hugged the guy that took the time to teach me this yesterday. Another tip I asked about the new machine that is on the market called the rotary blade sharpener. Olfa says its a hoax. Do not waste your money on it. Each rotary blade is made on a C and C machine. The same kind of machine that makes things like granite counter tops and tile. This will not save your blades in fact it could make them worse by adding grooves to the blade affecting the cut on your fabric. This information is from the company as well, however some people say they do work pretty well, depending on what sharpener you have.
If you want a great deal to save you some money on olfa products check out this site:: http://www.olfadeals.com/ . I just got this circle cutter for $18.95 plus a free 2 pack of replacement blades. The craft store was asking almost 40.00 for the same package. (I'm just saying). I hope this information is useful to someone out there in blog land, I know it was to me.