Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A little TLC for self-healing cutting mats

Self-healing cutting mat….a hero in your sewing studio.


The self-healing rotary cutting mats are a tool no quilter can do without. The surface of self-healing mats will “heal” or close after cutting with a sharp rotary cutter blade, leaving no visible slice in the mat. Following are some tips that will make your cutting experience even better.

·       Lay mats perfectly FLAT when traveling to retreat or for storage, mats warp easily especially in a hot car and distortion is sometimes permanent.

·       Keep mats out of direct sunlight if possible.

·       Do not roll cutting mats.

·       Replace when there are obvious signs of wear and tear or blades dull quickly even after cleaning your mat.

·       Directions to clean your mat: (recommended 2X per year)

·       Fill you bathtub with room temperature water (not hot, not warm, and not cold) 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 mat with cool water getting all residues off the mat. Dry it with a soft cotton towel, or air dry with a towel underneath making sure it lays flat.

The materials used to make the self-healing properties do dry out after a period of time; this method allows the mat to absorb water making it supple again. This TLC “bath” makes your mat last longer along with an added benefit, it keeps your blades from dulling so quickly because you are cutting into a softer, cleaner surface.

There is a practical limit to the amount of slicing and dicing a cutting mat can take, like everything, eventually you will need to replace your mat.  When you begin to see visible marks and/or grooves on the surface it is probably time for a replacement.  Even if you aren’t seeing surface damage, you may notice that your blades are dulling quickly or you have to push harder on the rotary cutter, it is likely time for a new mat.


Self-healing cutting mat care – now you know. J

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