Are Wool Pressing Mats Easy to Scorch?
Wool does amazing things, such as being an incredible insulator that absorbs heat quickly and then quickly releases it back to what you’re pressing, effectively ironing a fabric from both the top, with the iron, and below, from the mat.
However, not many materials and fabrics can withstand the burning and melting powers of a scorching-hot iron, and wool is just as susceptible. They are certainly just as susceptible to scorch marks as any other fabric if an iron is left flat on it for more than 3 seconds.
With that said, wool will resist heat up to a certain point, which is why they are used as pressing mats to begin with. It’s even categorized as a flame-resistant material because it requires 1,058 degrees Fahrenheit to ignite. Thankfully, clothes irons only reach a temperature of 356 – 428 degrees Fahrenheit, but that’s all it takes to scorch your pressing pad.
Wool can actually extinguish any flame or burning by itself once removed from the heat source because it’s a material with high water and nitrogen contents and cross-linked cell membranes which swell and extinguish the fire. So wool can certainly be scorched, but the scorching won’t go far. This will make it much easier to remove any scorch marks you get.
How to Remove Scorch Marks on a Wool Pressing Mat
Did you accidentally leave the iron on your pressing mat, or put the mat against the iron? Don’t worry. The process for removing scorch marks from your pressing pad is mercifully straightforward. You will need to gather,
- Hydrogen peroxide
- A clean, white cloth
First of all, do your best to get to the scorch mark as soon as it happens, otherwise you run the risk of making the scorch mark permanent.
Immediately set your iron to a low setting.
With your white cloth, apply a generous amount of hydrogen peroxide to it. Then, take your now hydrogen peroxide cloth and lay it over the scorch mark.
Using it as an ironing cloth, use your iron to iron over the cloth and the scorch mark. If it doesn’t work the first time, just repeat as necessary.
What happens is the warm iron will help the hydrogen peroxide permeate through all the scorched layers without causing further damage by being too hot. And if you get the hydrogen peroxide to the scorch mark early, it won’t take long at all to remove even the dark stain that tends to linger after scorch marks.
How to Prevent Scorch Marks on a Wool Pressing Mat
The first thing you can do to prevent scorch marks on your wool pressing mat is to not set your hot iron on it. Even when you have the iron stand up on it so that the hot face is off, wool mats are not smooth surfaces and it doesn’t take much effort to cause the iron to fall flat onto the mat.
Do your best to find a good designated space for your pressing that is on a surface that doesn’t burn easily from your iron, such as an ironing board or a granite countertop, or the top of your washer or dryer in your laundry room.
An even better thing you can do is to find an iron rest online or in household stores like Bed, Bath, and Beyond. These tend to be silicon mats with non-slip backings that you can place onto any flat surface and rest your iron on.
They usually have some kind of texture, most commonly a bubble texture, so that there is a greater separation between the iron and your table, or counter, or other surface. They’re also cheap, which is all the better. You won’t find one more than $11 on Amazon but the majority are about $7-$9.
Finally, you can buy or build a designated place for your hot iron. These come in a few shapes and sizes from Minky’s Sure Grip Universal Iron Holder that can be mounted to the wall or door, or a metal iron holder that just rests next to where you’re ironing, such as this old metal iron stand.
Wool is still the king of fabrics when it comes to pressing and ironing. It’s a very forgiving material and no other common fabric will match it. Still, even though it’s a forgiving fabric, practicing caution with hot irons is always a worthwhile undertaking.
Hopefully you now have a few ideas on how to prevent any further scorching to your pressing mat, such as where you’re going to hang or place your iron from now on. Pressing can be a truly cathartic experience, let’s not turn it into a stressful one.