It’s been a while since the onset of the specific technology which led to the phrase, “Better than sliced bread”. Since the turn of the century (the 20th century), to be exact. And during the time span between then and now the technological curve has taken a sharp bend and continues to do so today.
Growing up I witnessed very few spectacular inventions. My parents had the same rotary phone for who knows how many years before upgrading to a push button phone and continued to use that same phone for at least 30 years. I used the same black and white television from childhood through my sophomore year in college. Who does that anymore?
So what does all this have to do with sewing and quilting?
Technology and the always changing landscape of new and improved products. Every day – every few hours someone has or is in the process of inventing a better mouse trap.
The better mouse trap I’m speaking of here is the Oliso iTouch Iron.
I’ve been using mine for almost 2 years now and for the most part I have no real complaints. Maybe, except for the color. The gray and white is not bad but I wanted yellow…not a huge big deal.
However, for all its technological advances, the greatest attribute of this iron is safety. The design and functionality have incorporated a special feature called “Auto-Lift Technology” that renders the iron pretty much impossible to burn anything or accidentally tip over.
The iron is never in contact with any surface unless your hand has a firm grasp on the orange dotted sensors placed across the top of the handle.
Grasping the handle automatically lowers the iron onto the ironing surface. Once you remove your hand a set of “Scorch Guards” lower, lifting the hot sole plate off the fabric and will remain in this position until you grasp the handle.
OK, So It’s Safe But Is it Any Good at Ironing?
The short answer: Yes. This iron also includes the same features you would find in a typical iron found in use in many homes today – a reservoir for water, steam and spray settings, a fabric and temperature selector, and a pointed tip for detailing.
Another nice feature is the light display. When red this alerts you that the iron is off or has automatically shut off after 8 minutes of non use. (There is Pro version of this iron that will remain on for 30 minutes of non use). When the light is green this lets you know the iron is on and ready for use.
If a more traditional ironing experience is preferred the iTouch feature can be switched to the “Off” position. When not in use simply position vertically as you would a traditional iron.
Getting back to safety – even with the iTouch feature turned off, should the iron accidentally knock over into a horizontal position, the scorch guards will automatically engage to lift the sole plate off the fabric.
With these safety features you may be thinking they must have skimped on the remaining attributes or reasons for purchasing an iron in the first place.
Q: What about leakage through the steam outlets from the water reservoir when the scorch guards are engaged?
A: They have that covered. The iTouch iron has a “zero-drip” feature that automatically shuts off steam anytime the scorch guards are extended.
Q: Is there more than one steam option?
A: Actually, there are 3 options for water or steam delivery.
1) A simple spray which is good for removing wrinkles.
2) Burst of Steam – A strong downward steam delivery when temperature is set on the wool/cotton/linen setting.
3) Vertical Steam – Useful for removing wrinkles from curtains or garments oriented in an upright position.
What is Not to Like?
Now that I’ve covered the positive features of this iron it seems only fair to discuss the two items I’ve discovered, so far, that I’m not entirely thrilled with.
The first: The noise. Each time the auto-lift feature is engaged it makes an annoying noise. I don’t quite know exactly how to describe it as it is not terribly loud but it is there. Over time, I’ve learned to tune it out – somewhat – however, there are days when I really don’t care to hear that noise each time, I grasp the handle.
The second is the overall weight of the iron. It isn’t heavy – 3.7# however, I had a much older iron – just an iron with no bells or whistles. It was smaller than the Oliso but significantly heavier. Somehow, the design of this older iron made ironing much easier and quicker. One run over a wrinkle and that was it – gone forever! With this, and every newer iron I’ve owned in between required many runs back and forth before removing a wrinkle.
As you can see, the positives far outweigh the only two negatives I have encountered with this wonderful iron. The safety features alone are worth the price of admission!
I would love to hear about your experiences with the Oliso iTouch iron.
There are also so many other great ironing products on the market – let me know your experiences with another type or brand of iron and which brand you prefer!
I’m always on the look out for a better mouse trap!