X Marks the Scot - An on-line community of kilt wearers.

   X Marks Partners - (Go to the Partners Dedicated Forums )
USA Kilts website Freedom Kilts website Scotweb websiten Burnetts and Struth website Celtic Croft website
Xmarks advertising information Celtic Corner website Xmarks advertising information Houston Kiltmakers Xmarks advertising information

User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15
  1. #1
    Join Date
    30th November 04
    Location
    Deansboro, NY
    Posts
    3,312
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Pressing systems

    Hi all,

    In the thread that I just posted on the progress of Hamish's 100th kilt, I included a couple of pictures of pressing the kilt. Several people PMd me with questions, and I thought I'd pull out the useful kiltmaking items and start a post here.

    In both pictures below, you'll notice that the ironing board is set really low. I'm a short person (5'3"), and, if the ironing board is set at its highest (which is about my waist level), I can't get my weight behind the iron. So, I lower the ironing board until it's below the level of the tops of my thighs.

    The following picture shows my pressing system. A couple of you were aghast that I was pressing directly on the wool with my iron, so I thought I'd better explain!!



    After visiting the Wizard at Freedom Kilts a couple of years ago and trying out the pressing system that he has, I hustled home and bought one for myself. It's a boiler system, and you can see the black hose past my right elbow that connects the iron to the boiler. I also ordered the extra teflon sole plate cover (teflon iron shoe) for the iron, which lets you press directly on wool without a press cloth.

    Although the pressing system was expensive, I've saved its cost many times over. I can press a kilt in 1/3 the time that it used to take me, I can actually see what I'm doing, and the quality of the press is much better. And, with the steam boiler system, a kilt doesn't get as wet as it used to when I pressed with a spray bottle and press cloth. Here's the system I have.

    http://www.bestvacuum.com/reliable-i300-steam-iron.html

    If you go to the web site above, you'll see the teflon iron shoe in the lower right inset picture. I Googled "teflon sole plate" and "teflon iron shoe" and found this description:

    http://westchestersewing.com/consew/...hoe/index.html

    And Joann's has one that they claim will fit any iron:

    http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog/p...PRODID=prd3110

    I haven't tried this particular one, but, for under $10, it sure would be worth testing out with some scraps of tartan. If you read the reviews listed on the web site, it sounds like people are really happy with it. In fact, I'm going to order a couple for my regular iron.

    Another person asked what tool I was using in the following picture (and in this pic, you can also see the pressing system better, with the metal boiler behind the ironing board and the stretchy spring that holds the white iron shoe onto the iron):



    The wooden tool is called a "tailor's clapper", and it is used to force the steam into the fabric while pushing down with something hard and cool to set whatever you're pressing.

    Any piece of wood would work for clapping pleats - this one is just set up for tailoring and has edges and points for narrow edges and is set up to have a handy "handle". If you use a piece of lumber, just make sure it doesn't have pitchy spots, though.....
    Last edited by Barb T; 30th June 17 at 01:04 PM.
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://theartofkiltmaking.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    23rd September 09
    Location
    Vassalboro, Maine
    Posts
    1,322
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks Barb. Now I know what to ask Santa for this christmas.
    New kiltmaking toys!
    Humor, is chaos; remembered in tranquillity- James Thurber

  3. #3
    Join Date
    19th May 08
    Location
    Leucadia CA
    Posts
    3,490
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Here's another pressing option: the Eurosteam "Evolution" iron LINK

    The boiler system is built into the body of the iron. I got a significant discount on mine by purchasing from the distributor at a sewing/quilting/crafts show vs. ordering online.

    Clappers are not as easy to find [edit: see Barb's links below]. I traced one and have been meaning to make it up from that pattern. Meanwhile, I have two antique irons (the heat-em-on-the-woodstove kind) that I move along in the path of the steam iron. If you have, or can find, an older iron that has some weight to it, you could do the same thing with it -- just leave it cold and use it as a weight. This is not the same as a clapper, but helps to keep the wool pressed down while it cools (which is what really sets the edge). Hairdressers will tell you a similar thing -- setting hair is all about curling it, heating it, and letting it cool completely before removing the curling device.
    Last edited by sydnie7; 22nd July 10 at 08:53 AM. Reason: I wuz wrong!
    Proudly Duncan [maternal], MacDonald and MacDaniel [paternal].

  4. #4
    Join Date
    30th November 04
    Location
    Deansboro, NY
    Posts
    3,312
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hard to find?? I just did a quick Google search on "tailor's clapper" and found the following that look at lot like mine:

    http://sewtrue.com/Store/POINT-PRESS...PER-P2302.html
    http://sewingworkshop.com/index.php/...3/prevstart/0/
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://theartofkiltmaking.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    19th May 08
    Location
    Leucadia CA
    Posts
    3,490
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Barb's right, as usual -- must have been some other "tailor" product I had in mind, that I had searched for online and not found/not easily found. Forgive the senior moment!

    Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon note: you'll see a similar tank system in use during the Kinloch Anderson video in this thread.
    Last edited by sydnie7; 22nd July 10 at 08:56 AM. Reason: added the KA video link
    Proudly Duncan [maternal], MacDonald and MacDaniel [paternal].

  6. #6
    Join Date
    3rd August 09
    Location
    Fayetteville, North Carolina
    Posts
    1,092
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Picture of pressing ham

    Barb...I'm approaching the pressing stage on that kilt I started...what was it...like 3 months ago...maybe 4?? Great timing on this thread!!! Can you show a picture of a pressing ham? I seem to recall you saying you can buy them at Joann Fabrics...I hope so...haven't been to look yet.

    Also...I'm even closer to the hair canvas stage...any revised list of vendors for that?
    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." -- Thomas Paine

    Scottish-American Military Society Post 1921

  7. #7
    Join Date
    30th November 04
    Location
    Deansboro, NY
    Posts
    3,312
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Here's a pressing ham at Joann fabrics:

    http://www.joann.com/joann/search/se..._requestid=947

    Doesn't say online only, so maybe the stores have them.

    B Black and Son is my favorite source for canvas:

    http://www.bblackandsons.com/sewing-...-68_80_92.html

    Just be sure to get the heavy weight.

    BTW - when are you going to come down for a vist from that place in the North Country (which I still think of as Camp Drum, because that's what it was called while I was growig up)? You should come down to the Great American Irish Festival this weekend at the Herkimer County Fair Grounds:

    http://www.gaif.us/
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://theartofkiltmaking.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    25th September 04
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada 1123.6536.5321
    Posts
    4,792
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    To help with Barb's explanation of these pressing systems.

    Here is one of our pressing stations showing the complete system.




    The tank up on the shelf is where the water is heated. This allows the sole plate of the iron to be set to the correct temperature of the fabric we are working on. P/V, Poly/cottons, 100% Cottons and Wool all use different temperatures.

    With these systems the plate of the iron is not used to create the steam so you can set the temperature of the sole plate just right without scorching the fabric.

    There is a blue button near the handle of the iron. This is the steam button. These irons can shoot a jet of steam half way across the room. As it is the steam and the pressure that does the work having control over the steam in these systems is the real secret.

    Also in this photo you can see the Teflon sole plate that eliminates the need for a pressing cloth. It is held to the iron with the spring.


    Here is a shot from a different angle showing the pressing table.

    Note that we do not use an ironing board. They are great for Barb because she moves around a lot. Here in my shop we use these tables. They are made from a set of folding legs bought at Home Depot, a piece of melamine board and covered with a pad and a heat resistant Ironing board cover. Each table is set for the height of the kiltmaker. Each table is 3' X 5' so an entire Kilt can be pressed at one time.

    So how is it used?

    Here is how we press the pleats on a Wool Kilt.
    We first heat the fabric using the steam from the system. The great thing about steam is that it is very predictable. The temperature of steam is enough to soften the fibers of the kilt but not hot enough to scorch the fabric itself.
    Please notice that we pre-press our pleats before basting. This is different than Barb.



    If you just can't get around the idea of not using a pressing cloth note that often we use one too.



    Heat the fabric with the steam then press it down HARD with the clapper.
    Pick up the iron and move along the pleat and heat the next section.
    Then move like this along the entire pleat.

    The Steam does the work of softening the fibers and leaning on the clapper puts the pressure on the pleat edge to set it.

    Just a note for those who think this way of pressing pleats a bit strange.
    If you look down the edge of the pleats already pressed you will see that the taper is already in the pleat. This must be measured and marked before pressing.
    We do it this way because we machine sew our Fell.




    There is one other way that we use our irons.
    We make our non-wool kilts with edge stitching down the in and out pleats.

    If the pleats are top stitched you do not need to re-press the pleats after washing.
    Here is how we iron the pleats of a Cotton Kilt.
    We use a scrap of Formica or Arborite. Slide it into the pleat and iron. Use lots of shots of steam.

    You can also see in this photo how we lift the Fell section of the Kilt up to allow the pleats to remain perfectly straight and parallel.

    Here is a shot of the what the pleats look like. Sort of a before and after thing.



    I can iron an entire Kilt in under 5 min this way.
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    30th November 04
    Location
    Deansboro, NY
    Posts
    3,312
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I use an ironing board, rather than a flat table, because I find that, in order to press the pleats straight once the kilt is basted, I have to hang the fell off the narrow end of the ironing board because the pleats taper from the bottom of the fell to the waist, and the waist is smaller than the hips in most kilts. If I tried to press the kilt on a big flat surface, I wouldn't be able to do a good job, because the kilt wouldn't lie flat - the bottom end of the basted pleats would want to splay open, and the top end at the bottom of the fell would be puckered up a bit. If I hang the fell off the end of the board, no problem.
    Last edited by Barb T; 25th July 10 at 08:17 AM.
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://theartofkiltmaking.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    23rd May 06
    Location
    Far NW Corner of Washington State, USA (48 45' 51.5808" N / -122 30' 36.6228" W)
    Posts
    5,715
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Thumbs up

    Excellent thread!!
    Thank you Barb (& Steve )!
    [SIZE="2"][FONT="Georgia"][COLOR="DarkGreen"][B][I]T. E. ("TERRY") HOLMES[/I][/B][/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE="1"][FONT="Georgia"][COLOR="DarkGreen"][B][I]proud descendant of the McReynolds/MacRanalds of Ulster & Keppoch, Somerled & Robert the Bruce.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE="1"]"Ah, here comes the Bold Highlander. No @rse in his breeks but too proud to tug his forelock..." Rob Roy (1995)[/I][/B][/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE]

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. pressing
    By saxandpipes in forum Professional Kiltmakers Hints and Tips
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 24th April 10, 08:36 AM
  2. Help Pressing a Utilikilt
    By RamseytheGreat in forum Kilt Advice
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 11th November 08, 10:39 AM
  3. pressing a kilt
    By kiltedsawyer in forum Kilt Advice
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 14th July 08, 10:32 AM
  4. Pressing PV Kilts
    By ChattanCat in forum DIY Showroom
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 3rd October 07, 04:50 PM
  5. Fixing a pressing issue
    By toadinakilt in forum Kilt Advice
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 2nd January 06, 08:33 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

» Log in

User Name:

Password:

Not a member yet?
Register Now!
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.2.0