There are many tools that are recommended by different quilters these days, and while some are well-known like rotary cutters and rulers, some aren’t quite as obvious. ZJ Humbach explains why a pressing cloth is one of her favorite tools, and demonstrates how to use it.
A pressing cloth, simply put, is a cloth you use when pressing your fabric. You can buy a pressing cloth at many craft and fabric stores or online, or you can even use fabric you might already have. ZJ explains that a pressing cloth should generally always be 100% cotton fabric and white in color, as you do not want to risk using a piece of fabric that could transfer dye onto the project you are pressing.
She also explains that while most pressing cloths are smaller squares, you can find ones that are larger and rectangular, which can be helpful when pressing longer seams on quilts or other home decor projects. ZJ then demonstrates how she uses the pressing cloth when pressing to protect her fabric from the direct heat of the iron. This is also extremely beneficial when pressing on fabrics that you do not want to leave a mark on, like a corduroy fabric.
Using a pressing cloth can also help eliminate having seams show through from the wrong side of the fabric, especially if you are pressing bulky fabric. While a pressing cloth is great for protecting your fabric, it can also protect your iron. If the fabric being pressed has something that could be transferred onto the iron, or if you are using a product like a fusible web, using the pressing cloth can help make sure that your iron remains clean as well.
Once you try out a pressing cloth and see the benefits it provides for protecting your fabric and your iron, learn about another one of ZJ’s favorite quilting tools: the stiletto. Then, learn about some of the must-have quilting feet for your sewing machine and how they can make quilting easier and more fun!