Ironing

37 comments
I've been a Rowenta iron gal for about 12+ years. I started with a really nice Rowenta my SIL gave me for my birthday. It was a steam generator iron, nice but pricey. It lasted quite a while with alot of abuse but after about 5-6 years it got a huge hole in the water well after one bad fall. And although I loved the well of water and ready steam, it was too big for me to use on my smaller ironing board in my sewing room. So, I chose to replace it with a smaller Rowenta. I always have 2 irons/boards being used. One for the family to iron clothes and 1 in my sewing room. So over the years I've probably gone through about 5 Rowenta irons. I am kind of hard on irons.Right now family Rowenta iron is starting to spit a little but we are dealing with it and using it anyway. However, my sewing room iron (the most crutial) completely stopped working while stunt sewing for Lori just days before Quilt Market. I cannot go without a good iron next to my machine.

Most of us have seen that Yellow Oliso iron on Fons and Porter's TV show. It is pretty beautiful. And I was completely taken in by watching the mesmerizing up and down of the lift. But at between $169-199 that yellow iron is not in my price range.
So I found this iron made by Oliso, too, with the same lift technology, and at a more affordable price. It arrived at my house a couple days before Quilt Market. I didn't have a chance to really try it out before that.When I went to Quilt Market one of the booths I really wanted to visit was the Oliso booth to talk about what the difference was between a $50 blue Oliso and a nearly $200 yellow Oliso, other than the color. I was really disappointed in the sales pitch. The person was more interested in selling Lori the yellow iron than talking to me about advantages of Oliso irons over others on the market. The only thing I came away with was there are different hole placements where steam comes out in the different Oliso models and the sales person said that the blue Oliso steam would distort my quilt blocks. Hmmm. I will say when I iron quilt blocks or seams I don't hold my iron in one place so the holes/steam idea didn't really make sense to me. Maybe I iron completely wrong?
I've been using the blue Oliso for about a month now. It is pretty good. It doesn't spit. The water well is nice and big (bigger than my last Rowenta) and I have to fill it less. I like the steam it generates. I do steam when I sew, even though I know some quilters say it is a no-no. I would even say I like the feel of this iron and steam better than my last Rowenta. The iron heats up really fast. I like that a lot. Of course it auto turns off/on. I give it a 7.5/10.
I'm not 100% sold on the lift idea/mechanism. The lift occurs when you take your hand off the handle. And if you are ironing a long chain of sewing blocks, it is really handy. But that said, there is a lag in when you put your hand on the iron handle and when the mechanism retracts. If you are a fast ironer, it can pull up the fabric into the mechanism. This has happened a couple times to me. But I am getting used to it. So I do like the iron on the whole but I like it at $50. I would not pay $169 or more for the yellow color and the holes for steam positioned differently. But that's just me. Maybe someone else thinks it is worth it?
Recently I made 4 napkins out of a homespun type fabric and some beautiful premade crochet edged seam binding. It required a lot of ironing/pressing. It would be nice to disengage the lift mechanism working on a project like this with a fragile edge.
However, it turned out well. I love little projects like this napkin project above.
If I had to do it over again, I think I would still choose the blue Oliso. I think the pros outweigh the cons at the lower price. Am I too picky?

-nanette
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37 comments

Nanci said...

What an informative post! I wondered about the rowenta too as I see Nancy Zeeman uses it also. I have a $40.00 Black and Decker which is ages old, given to me by my mother and it works like a charm. I do wonder at times at the new styles and colours of irons, the very pointy ones and think about it, but I am so loyal to this old iron of mine...not yet ready for change.

Char said...

Thank you for the review. It was very informative. I don't need an iron as hubby got me a Rowenta for Christmas but when I do, and I will, I keep this in mind.

Lynn said...

Interesting, especially as my family iron just gave up last week. Iron shopping confuses me, so this information will help!

Kigwit said...

I tried the yellow olisco at the Houston Quilt Festival last year. I really liked it but it is so expensive! I'm still using the 20+ year old black & decker I bought in college. I may have to try the blue one though.

I love your gingham napkins-especially the borders. Did you crochet on the lace? So cute!

TinaTx said...

Thanks for the review! I'm in the 'window shopping' phase of getting a new iron and have been thinking about the olisco. (I'm on my 3rd Rowenta and it has started leaking water - just like the previous two)The price for the yellow olisco is a little scary so your review and thoughts on the lesser priced blue one is welcome information.

Thimbleanna said...

GREAT post Nanette! I'm a Rowenta girl, but my latest iron has been spitting a little lately, so I've been eying that Olisio. I just didn't know anything about it though. I think I'd love that lift for exactly the times you mentioned -- when I'm doing a line of stuff, it's so annoying to have to stand the iron up so I can adjust for the next step.

Oh...now I know we're twins. I'm a steam girl -- ALL the way baby, quilting or not -- and I don't care what the "experts" say!!!

quiltingnana said...

I have the yellow one and like it a lot...I probably wouldn't have bought it myself because of the price..I won the one I have...but now that I have it, I would probably buy another one...I was using a cordless iron (that my hubby bought me for a gift) and that was great too...wouldn't have changed it but when a gift comes along...

Kimberly said...

Now THIS was a great sales pitch!

Shelley said...

I don't think we can be too picky when it comes to choosing an iron....
Thanks for this great review!

Kim with a K said...

Great post!
I just have the iron from costco...tfal ultraglide...does the trick!
Too confusing to know how to buy irons - this post will help a lot!

Terri said...

I had the original Olsio when they first came out here and loved it. It got hot, steamed well and the lifting wasn't terribly slow. Then.... the dogs knocked over my ironing board. Killed my iron lol. So I got a cheapie at Target, hated it. While in Houston I looked at them at decided to get the yellow one since I had loved my first one so much.

Well.... hate the yellow one. Doesn't get hot enough for me, steam is lousy and if I'm ironing alot and it stays on long enough to build up some decent heat the lifting mechanism gets stuck with the legs out. Very hard to iron with legs lol. So now I'm on to a Reliable steam generator and after 2 months LOVE it. (well once I figured out the button that turn the steam generator on/off is not a burst of steam button!!)

I don't think you are being to picky at all. Irons are important stuff :)

Brandie said...

A good review, It was very helpful. I've been looking into a new iron.

Muddling Through said...

No, you're not too picky at all. It IS very important to have what works for you, not for someone else. I bought a Sunbeam with a retractable cord recently (after dropping my old iron once too many times), and after getting used to the extra weight of it, I really like it. It's nice to have that cord go away when I'm not using it. I like the steam, too, and this one has a good burst of steam button.

Annette said...

I've had my eye on that yellow Oliso ...just because of the pretty color lol. I went through iron shopping a while back when my old faithful friend quit working. So I bought a real nice iron but had steam problems. I finally settled on a simple Black and Decker and have been happily ironing away ever since. I just don't use steam as much as I used to but found out it's ok.

PamKittyMorning said...

I don't think too picky at all. I loved the yellow color but that lift thing bugs me. I have been setting my iron on end for 50 plus years, and that's one trick I don't need to learn. Hows the point? I was ironing the other day with a friends iron and the tip just didn't flip the fabric back like I liked, which is tough on fingers when working on small pieces. I like my tools to do what they're supposed to, help me.

Darlene said...

Great review, Nanette. Like Pam, too have been putting my iron on end for a very long time and I'm not sure I could break that habit. LOL

Maxine said...

Why is it irons can be such a challenge? I have a rowenta (my second one) but not liking this one so much..not enough steam..I liked your information on the Olisco I really liked the yellow one...but not at that price..What brand is a really good one and not so pricy?

Jan said...

The quality, and functions of many new irons on the market is a sore spot with me. I have found that old, heavy irons from say the 1970s or before are so much better. They don't turn themselves off, they don't spit (even if you use tap water), are heavy without being hard to handle, and get the job done properly and swiftly.
I used to go through irons fairly quickly - maybe one a year, but have been using an old model for two years now. My quilter friend is still using her mother's iron!

Susan said...

I am a Rowenta girl with full steam ahead. LOL. My iron is over 25 years old and has fallen once quite hard and developed a crack in the water well. I super-glued over the crack and it has remained water tight all these years. She is like like a best friend and I would part with her.

A.J. Dub. said...

Great feedback! I have had the same iron for oh, 15ish years, until a few months ago. I have not heard of these 2 brands before! I will have to investigate. :)

The Tulip Patch said...

I, too, steam a lot when I iron (I did not say press) my blocks. I don't have distortion issues, but I am a seam-settin' fool so I think that helps. I also am careful with how I touch my blocks...no tugging and pulling...I let my iron do the work.

I have looked at the yellow iron and the main differences I have gathered in reading reviews on amazon is that the yellow one goes longer between auto-shutoffs and that is a feature geared specifically to quilters. I think it has a larger water reservoir. I now have a rowenta from Joann black friday sale, but before that it was an old old iron I got at a thrift store. I am sure it was a fire hazard...never shut off. But boy, did that sucker get HOT...I loved it. Ironing makes such a difference in how things turn out.

Carrie P. said...

I am like you, I don't think I could bring my self to pay that much for an iron. I have had a Rowenta for about 5 years now and it has been very good to me. Hope it lasts another 5.
No you are not too picky.Thanks for your review.

Mary said...

I am the schmuck who bought the yellow Oliso at the long beach quilt show last year. WHAT A HORROR STORY.

When I got it home it spit like crazy and did not get very warm on the highest setting. I contacted Oliso in San Francisco. They said if I returned it, they would send me a new one. I did at my cost.

The new iron does not spit but it does not get very hot either. The delay in the raise lower mechanism catches the fabric as you said. I contacted them again about the problem and have heard nothing after repeated tries. DON'T BUY THIS PIECE OF JUNK.

SO NOW, that bright shiny yellow iron is sitting in a closet and I am using my &19.95 black and decker auto shutoff iron I bought at the drug store.

Jennifer said...

I'm so glad you posted about this! I use a cheaper iron that works just fine for me but I've always had a lingering doubt that I am missing out on something special in the iron world. Guess not... ;)

Jennifer :)

Darlene's Quilts and Stuff said...

I have only had cheap irons all of my life but decided to get a Shark. The only thing I don't like is the automatic shut off but most irons do that nowadays. The iron never spits and has a large well. I have never used a Rowenta or Oliseo.

tko said...

where did you get your crocheted lace bias trim?

madrekarin said...

We use a blue Oliso at work and I dislike it intensely. Every time you release any pressure on the iron, the legs come down. It's the pits when you're trying to get something done quickly. Plus, it "spits" on the fabric when it has to warm up between ironings. Not to mention the noise it makes.
:( I've taken to using the small travel iron we have out for customers to "test drive". At least it doesn't spit at me.

Sherri said...

Great post. Because I really, really, really need a new iron...this is great food for thought!

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

I appreciate your review. =) Now i know I don't "need" a new iron. I am a gadget girl and I get caught up in the hype at times.

Calamity Jane's Cottage, Bonnie said...

Love all your information in your post, I'm a yellow olisco owner and you'll love the lift when you get use to it. It's funny when I go sew with the girls I forget to pick the iron up and set it the right way. Could be dangerous with my brain.

Rosalie said...

I recently bought the blue one, after my Rowenta gave out (after only having it maybe a year). So far, I'm loving it! It did take some getting used to not having to lift it. I'm a big fan of ironing..especially when sewing/quilting. So having a good, working iron is MUST for me. PS- there is a little switch on the bottom of the iron where you can turn the lift thing off and use it like any other iron. :-)

Glenna @ Hollyhock Quilts said...

Great info, Nanette! Thanks for sharing!

Sugar Town Quilt Co. said...

k you made a great pick, don't laugh but I have one in my sewing room, laundry room,four ironing boards in the class room and one in my trailer, yes I sew on holidays and they are all the blue model. I do sell the yellow and yes they are pricey but I sell them. you are right the holes they say are placed better for quilters and the shut off is set for 30 min the blue is 15 I believe and the tip has more of a point why, not sure. So quilt on young lady and do it with iron confidence, in my opinion you made a great choice, I know i love mine

Madame Samm said...

Great review...I have been looking at these myself...and had no understanding of the price differentiation...I guess I still don't ...but I am with you my dear...big diff'ce in price for what did she say ? lol
I like the yellow...may go for the blue..

suz said...

Interesting review and interesting comments. I had wondered about the Rowenta when it was first "the iron" to have. But I've read more complaints about the spitting that compliments about the iron. Sounds like this is another expensive iron that really doesn't justify the cost. I've always had Black & Decker and the only one I replaced before it's time (10-20 years) is the one the cats knocked off the ironing board 4 times before they killed it! LOL Think I'll stick with my B&D.

pratima said...

Thank you for the detailed review. We have a Rowenta too and it works well. I'm glad you've found an alternative for yellow Oliso at a good price.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for this nice review, Nanette. I use an older iron, and certainly not a pricey one, but I am always intrigued by all the hype over many of the expensive models. I found your comparisons very interesting and informative - thanks!