Sunday, November 22, 2009

Useful tricks and tips :: Caring for your self healing mat


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.

Check Spelling

29 comments:

  1. That was very helpful...thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm going to do this to all the cutting mats we have - i'm glad you stopped at that booth. I do have a blade sharpener for my rotary blades (Christmas gift last year). It does work - I get a lot more life out of my blades. I haven't had to buy blades since last year. I'm not sure why he would say it wouldn't work (other than more sales) we sharpen our knifes...same thing. The one I have has a great sharpening surface. I think it was $10...?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great information to know....now....if I can only remember it. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. thank you so much for the tips!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes, helpful! Yes, helpful! Thanks for the great tips.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree, this was very helpful. I think I'll be giving my mats a bath today! Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. My mat is in desperate need of this! Thanks for the tip!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great info thanks for sharing! You should email Karen @ the selvedge quilter, she was asking about the sharpener the other day...

    ReplyDelete
  9. I will do that to my cutting mat tomorrow, thanks alot

    ReplyDelete
  10. Guess who's getting a bath today! woo hoo and thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for passing along the great info...will be doing that to my mats in the very near future!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ooh, my mats will be getting a bath sometime soon!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for the insight on the Olfa mat cleaning technique. Make sense to me. And I certainly like the idea of sending my abused mat to the spa periodically for a soothing bath.

    As far as the tools to re-sharpen blades, I've viewed it just isn't worth my time. Olfa blades are high quality and very durable. I'd rather get a new blade when I need it!

    SewCalGal
    www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh fantastic information! I didn't make it to the show but my MIL did and she really liked it. Hope they come back again.

    ReplyDelete
  15. great tip, thanks for sharing it, my mat is looking kinda sad these days. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Terri! I loved this article on caring for your quilting supplies, so I posted a link to it on my website. You can see it here:
    http://www.favequilts.com/Rotary-Cutting/How-to-Clean-a-Rotary-Cutting-Mat

    Thanks for sharing these tips!

    ReplyDelete
  17. HELP!!!! My not-all-that-old "self healing" cutting mat has several grooves sliced in it. If I happen to hit one of those when cutting it tends to distort the cut of the fabric. So by "bathing" with this method do I understand correctly that the water should plump up and "heal" the grooved areas?
    THANKS!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. My cutting mat has lumps on it from it hanging in the fabric store I hope this will help "iron" them out.

    ReplyDelete
  19. muchas gracias por tan maravilloso tip
    saludos desde Puerto Rico

    ReplyDelete
  20. Very helpful information. I will say I have one of the Truecut Sharpeners from the Grace Company and it has worked fine for me.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Learned a lot thanks

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is great information! My mat really needs a good bath! Thank you sooo much for sharing !!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks for the info on cleaning the mat, it did make a difference. And you just saved me money as I was thinking about the blade sharpener for myself. I will just buy the refill blades instead. Great information, keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Terri,
    I'm Jessica Nichols, and I'm the editor of FaveQuilts.com. I'm not sure if you received my e-mails in the past, but I previously contacted you to let you know that FaveQuilts had featured this tutorial. You can see it here:
    http://www.favequilts.com/Rotary-Cutting/How-to-Clean-a-Rotary-Cutting-Mat.
    I wanted to know if it's alright that we review your tutorial in this way. Each review includes a short description of the project, a byline that credits you, a link to the tutorial on your blog, and a photo of the finished project. We also feature links to projects and accompanying pictures in our free weekly e-mail newsletter. Please let us know if we have permission to feature your projects and photos on FaveQuilts.com and in newsletters. I look forward to hearing from you!
    Thanks,
    Jessica

    ReplyDelete
  25. Cutting Mats Self Healing

    I agree, this was very helpful. I think I'll be giving my mats a bath today! Thank you

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate that you took a minute to read my post.
Please share what you thought about it with a comment.