An Honest Review of Wool Pressing Mats

A wool pressing mat can be a wonderful tool in quilting. Portable, lightweight, and made of only natural fibers, these mats can also help iron fabric in half the time! #quilting #quiltingtools #sew

A while back a friend asked me what I thought about wool pressing mats. Say what now? Unbeknownst to me, a wool mat was my friend's favorite notion. And I thought I knew her! Also, what is a wool pressing mat?

Quiltketeers, you know I love trying and buying new sewing notions, so of course I immediately snagged myself one of these fuzzy mats and after a year of using it I can finally give you an honest review.

If you like to sew, I can make a pretty accurate assumption that you love texture. You’re the kind of person who slowly runs your hands over your friend’s new velvet cushions and skims a finger across a pretty ceramic vase in a shop window. You can’t help yourself! To experience something you must touch it.

Even though we quilters love the feel of other fabrics and textures, most of the time we play it safe when it comes to the fabrics we choose for a quilt – lightweight cotton being the fan favorite. But what if I told you that you can have your cake and eat it too? Or, in this case, have your cotton and funky texture too? The fabulous texture I’m talking about is wool.

A Quick Detour Into Some Sheep Facts...

My wool knowledge is pretty baaaaad (as are my jokes) so I asked Instagram for fun facts about sheep and interesting qualities of wool. What I really wanted to know was WHY WOOL? Why would ironing fabric on a wool surface be any better or different than using the regular ironing board I’ve always used.

As for my sheep trivia, I’m now flush with knowledge. Did you know the wool of a domestic sheep will grow forever? In Australia a sheep was found roaming about and after being sheared, she was 89-pounds lighter! Since just ONE pound of wool can make 10 miles of yarn, that means 890 miles (or 1,430 kilometers) of yarn came from our fuzzy friend!

A wool pressing mat can be a wonderful tool in quilting. Portable, lightweight, and made of only natural fibers, these mats can also help iron fabric in half the time! #quilting #quiltingtools #sew
A wool pressing mat can be a wonderful tool in quilting. Portable, lightweight, and made of only natural fibers, these mats can also help iron fabric in half the time! #quilting #quiltpattern #sew

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A wool pressing mat can be a wonderful tool in quilting. Portable, lightweight, and made of only natural fibers, these mats can also help iron fabric in half the time! #quilting #quilt #sew

What Makes Wool Special?

But what do these sheep factoids have to do with quilting, you ask? Honestly, nothing, but they were too good for me not to share! What is relevant are the amazing qualities of the wool that’s getting sheared off these sheep. Those qualities are why I think wool pressing mats might be worth the hype.

1. Wool pressing mats magically iron both sides of your fabric.

The main selling point of these mats is that they magically “iron both sides of your fabric at the same time.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I never iron both sides of my fabric, so this selling point wasn’t selling me. However, once I got a wool pressing mat, I realized what that meant.

Because wool is an amazing insulator, it absorbs heat and then quickly releases it. That’s how a mat is “ironing both sides.” Which, actually, is kind of awesome! If you have a wad of wrinkled fabric fresh from the dryer, using a wool pressing mat will cut your ironing time in half without scorching your fabric. 

A wool pressing mat can be a wonderful tool in quilting. Portable, lightweight, and made of only natural fibers, these mats can also help iron fabric in half the time! #quilting #quilt #sewing

2. Wool is an insulating fiber which means a wool pressing mat cuts pressing time in half.

Wool is also able to absorb a lot more moisture than a synthetic fabric before it feels wet. This quality is really great if you like to come in hot with the steam setting on your iron. Remember that texture we all love? Well the fuzzy feel of these mats helps grip your fabric so it doesn’t slip around.

3. The mat's fuzzy texture grips your fabric in place.

Some may say that to get really flat seams, all you need is a hot iron and one of these wool pressing mats. However, I would disagree. I’m still a proponent of using a wooden tailor’s clapper to get the flattest seams.

Now you may ask, "Would it be overkill to use a tailor’s clapper on a wool mat?" Not at all! These wool mats give you wrinkle-free fabric, but a tailor’s clapper is still the best way to get crisp seams that stay crisp through multiple passes through a sewing machine.

A wool pressing mat can be a wonderful tool in quilting. Portable, lightweight, and made of only natural fibers, these mats can also help iron fabric in half the time! #quilting #quilt #sew

Wool Pressing Mat Cons

It’s obvious these mats have their benefits, but what about the cons? I’ve got two. They aren’t deal breakers for me, but they are worth mentioning.

1. It's hard to find large wool pressing mats.

The first con is the sizes available. It’s really hard to find a mat large enough to press a standard yard of fabric. My mat is only 17" x 24". A big selling point for them is that they allow you to be mobile, but let’s get real, I don’t need to be that mobile. My sewing room is my favorite place on earth.

However, I do like to set this little mat up next to my sewing machine and then become very immobile...possibly for hours as I sit to sew and press. I actually recommend this product specifically when making the ​Grow quilt pattern because of all of the strip piecing.

Last week I filmed an Instagram LIVE video, and during that time I mentioned my disappointment with the small sizes of these mats. One of you piped into the comments that there is a company selling wool pressing mats large enough to fit a standard ironing board. Oh la la!

After some internet sleuthing, I found Project Wool. This company has 20" x 50" mats as well as customizable mats for sale. So now that I know where to get a large wool mat, maybe I just have one complaint then... 

2. These mats don't smell great. In fact, they can get a little stinky.

My other con may seem silly, but it’s a turnoff – the smell. These mats smell like a barn floor. They won’t stink up your house, or even your small enclosed sewing studio, but when they get hot, and especially when they get steamy, they smell baaaaad.

Maybe over time my mat will smell better? Maybe if I continually use scented spray starch I can mask the odor? Only more time will tell, but I'm not that hopeful.

I’ll leave you with one last fact, contrary to popular belief, sheep are extremely intelligent. So if someone calls you a sheep for buying a wool mat, take it as a compliment!

Do you have a wool pressing mat? What are your thoughts? Does yours kinda smell too??

A wool pressing mat can be a wonderful tool in quilting. Portable, lightweight, and made of only natural fibers, these mats can also help iron fabric in half the time! #quilting #quiltpattern #sew

164 thoughts on “An Honest Review of Wool Pressing Mats

  1. Martha Adams says:

    Yes, I have a wool pressing mat. I also used to have a LOT of sheep long before sheep’s wool was ever used for making pressing mats. Yes, when wool pressing mats get damp from the steam coming from your iron, they smell like wet sheep. It’s a small price to pay for having a great pressing surface. It also takes me back to those years of owning sheep.

    • Maureen says:

      A great source for cheap wool mats measuring 30”x30” is State Line Track. Search Mustang wool mat. They cost about $25 each. They are a tan color. They are pads used under saddles. They work just as well as the expensive grey mats. Neither the grey nor the tan mats have ever smelled when I use them.

      • Heather says:

        I just got a wool mat and made a kid quilt using it. The manufacturer said to only use a dry iron, no steam! So without steam it took longer to iron. Good to know steam is ok? I prefer this to my ironing board.

        • Suzy Quilts says:

          My wool mat has no warning on the label about avoiding steam. Based on my knowledge of wool, I don’t know why steam would be a problem (aside from increasing the smell.) The only thing I can guess is that some wool mats are felted with other materials that would not react well to steam. My mat is 100% wool, however, so it shouldn’t be an issue.

          • Marsha Mach says:

            I purchase all my wool mats from Wooley Felted Wonders. They also sell the sheet that I am now using under all my mats, keeping my tables from warbling.

            I love the mats and now really love them due to the sheet underneath!!

            Marsha Mach
            Covered In Threads Retreat Center
            Puyallup, WA

          • Dara Rowland says:

            I had the same experience you did. I bought my Ecoigy “pure New Zealand wool 14×14 mat through Amazon. I’m returning it because I can’t take this barnyard smell and I sure don’t want my quilts to smell like it!

          • Marci Richmond says:

            I noticed this piece of information when researching the wall mounts at state line.
            **Product may need to be aired out initially due to being 100% sheep’s wool**

        • Mea Cadwell says:

          I’ve had my wool mat for awhile now and have used steam…even though the instructions say not to. I haven’t had a problem with melting or odor.

        • Margaret says:

          I really like using my wool ironing mat, but when I began using steam, that area of the mat turned yellowish and left a difficult residue on my iron.

        • Jane Duval says:

          I purchased a mat but was unhappy with the limited pressing area. Now I use an old wool Army blanket folded in half. I iron on a reclaimed conference table (raised by bed risers) with a laminate top. The blanket convers the entire 30×60 table top.

          • Colour du Jour says:

            Yay! now I know what to do with the old but still good old Army (WWII) blanket when I cleaned out my mom’s house. And I have a Civil War Blanket too from a great great uncle. Thanks for the idea.

          • Jean says:

            So glad you mentioned wool blanket. Just gave two or three wool arm blankets to thrift store as they had a few moth holes in them. Wish I had seen this soon.

          • Cindy says:

            I bought a horse blanket at a farm supply store. 36×36, $30. It does not smell. Never did. I do not use steam, spray or starch on it.

      • Tammy Hardt says:

        Such a great idea and they are USA made! Wonder if it could be cut in half though? I don’t need that large of a mat.🙂

          • Mistie says:

            Where have you bought yours?

            Reading through the comments, I thought about alpaca wool, and then you commented, but we need a referral.

      • Allison says:

        I have one of these too, but this version is not as felted as the sewing ones, and it’s a bit hairy and is getting hair on my quilts!

      • Vicki says:

        OHMYGOSH that is a fabulous idea! I just look at them and they look to be just as think. I’m sure they’d be durable too because they’re made to go under your saddle. thank you, Maureen! 🙂

      • TeriO says:

        I bought one of these and LOVE it. I love horses and the smell of the wet wool reminds me of coming into the barn with all those saddle pads. I do not think it’s a problem. Thanks for the tip.

      • Tracey says:

        AND forgot to say, that must be the right one comments/review at bottom say ‘use as a quilt mat’. The blurb on them says … needs to be aired due to smell LOL

      • Kathleen Haefele says:

        Great tip, tks got one.. Price went up a little since 2020 but with a promo code discount and discount for order over $30. Started at $45 and with discounts ended up at $32 p!us shipping. A 17×24 grey mats are $50

        • Vik says:

          I too got a horse under saddle-pad a few years ago. I made sure I picked the “flat” version (not the one shaped like a horses back. 🙂 ) it is 30×30 & 1/2″ thick & was $25. I like the smell (farm girl) & it doesn’t xfer to my fabric & only happens when I use steam. I made a muslin “pillowcase” for mine so the straggly wool pieces don’t end up on my fabric & I can wash the dust off of it. One caveat, as was stated above, the steam goes thru & irons both sides BUT it also goes thru to whatever surface you are ironing on. After a marathon session with a BUNCH of fabric I was preparing for several quilts, the wool mat AND my kitchen island butcher block tabletop were both damp. Luckily, I keep it oiled so no major damage there, just had to re-oil it. BUT I made sure I hung the wool mat up for several days to be sure it was fully dry before I stored it.

    • Robyn says:

      I use Flatter spray and my mat smells like a sheep but with Yuzu undertones. Very pleasant. I have three or four scents. My problem is that I love steam and I had my table sized cutting mat under my wool mat. You can guess what happened next. Yup! My mat is warped like hills and valleys! I ordered another which will arrive tomorrow. Moral of the story is: even long-time, professional quilters learn new things!

      • Becky says:

        So what is the best surface to place the wool pressing mat on? I had it on my cutting mat and was able to rescue it when I saw it was warping. Or is the trick not to use steam?

        • Suzy Quilts says:

          The best surface is your ironing board. If you want to move it around, you can place it on top of a folded towel. However, even with a towel as a buffer, I wouldn’t use it on a cutting mat or wood surface.

          • Paula says:

            My “sewing table” is a collapsible plastic banquet table from Lowe’s, and I definitely warped it when I first got my wool mat. So I made myself a small ironing board from plywood based on Lori Holt’s tutorial on YouTube. That way I can put my wool mat on top of that right next to my sewing machine.

  2. Diane says:

    I have had a wool mat for a year now. It has not smelled at all. I think it depends on where it comes from. I keep my covered w a pillowcase as I starch & this way I can change the case when needed. I’d be lost without the mat

    • Betty says:

      I also use a pillow case on mine. I wondered if the wool mat might stain and transfer over to my quilt material eventually if it wasn’t covered and changed once in a while??? We change our ironing board covers when they are stained as I have had some transfer over to a piece of material.

    • mts says:

      I noticed that I should cover my mat as soon as I bought it. I purchased a couple of plain white cotton pillowcases for that purpose only. One to use and a few back ups while others are in the laundry. It works for me

  3. Sonia says:

    I like the wool pressing mat because it is handy to have right beside my machine, but wool needs a lower iron temperature than cotton so I have scorched it in a couple of places!

  4. Savannah Morgan says:

    We actually raise sheep! We have been keeping (and milking) dairy breeds for several years now, and just recently added some other breeds to the flock! The milk is excellent for yogurt making 👌 and I am *hoping* to get some good use out of the wool this year from our new wool bread sheep! Dairy sheep have wool, but it is very coarse (i.e. wouldn’t make a nice soft yarn). Hmmmm… a homemade wool mat??? Perhaps? Oh, and they smell bad, probably worse than your mat. It isn’t something you notice outside… just when the milker comes in with a pail of fresh milk and smelling… um, not so fresh. 😁 (Male goats are worse, much worse, so no complaints about the sheep. You can smell a buck goat belonging to the neighbor down the road. 😤🤢)

  5. Laura Faulconer says:

    Yes I have a wool mat and love it. I have it on one end of my cutting table for pressing my blocks or small projects. As for the smell, there’s only a oder when you use steam in your iron. In reading the label it tells you not to use steam. When in doubt read the labels.

    • Diane says:

      I have a large wool mat made in Ireland. Love it. I don’t use steam, therefore it doesn’t smell. I also use the wooden clapper and have good results as the combination compliment each other.

      • Fiona Cairns says:

        Hi Diane, I read your comment with interest. My husband was looking for Christmas gift ideas and I thought of a pressing mat as it’s something I’ve wanted for a while. Living in Ireland, I was keen to buy local and have done every sort of Google search and can’t find any Irish wool mats. I don’t suppose you have the company’s name, or where you bought it? All the mats I’m finding are New Zealand wool. Thanks so much, Fiona

  6. Dawn Voegeli says:

    It definitely smells more when you are using steam or spraying with water or starch– not so much when ironing dry. I guess I’ve gotten used to it. I do love how it works. I saw that one reader above mentioned keeping a pillowcase over it. I might try that and see if it still works as well. Thanks Suzy!

  7. Nancy Batchelder says:

    I thought the information that came with the wool mats was to not use steam or any starch sprays. Just a dry iron. My mat smelled fine until I recently used some steam. I’m letting it air out and using steam w/a regular ironing surface for now.

  8. Aidan says:

    Mine had a bit of a smell, an I will admit to giving it a light misting of Febreeze. Twice. And it worked. If I could, I would cover an Ironing board in wool matting. I love pressing on it.

      • Carmen R Wyant says:

        I bought mine at my local quilt shop and it was $89.99, which I figured was a VERY reasonable price. Others may (and do) charge more.

  9. Ginger says:

    I got a wool pressing mat for christmas and when I used it all those little fibers stuck to my iron. I was using the cotton setting on my iron. Now I have a black mess on my iron I need to clean. However, I love the mat. I think I’ve going to do what another review had done and put a cover on it. Curious if anyone else has had that issue.

    • Shawnna says:

      I had the same black mess on my iron, and some of my fabric the first time I used my new wool mat so I have never used it again. Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one with a bad experience!

      • Cyndi says:

        I’ve had the same problem with a wool mat I received as a gift. Black fibers all over my iron and fabric! Does the cover on the mat lessen it’s useful-ness?

  10. Sarah L says:

    I like my wool mat but I wasn’t thinking one day and put it on my cutting mat while I was ironing. The heat/moisture went through the wool mat and warped my cutting mat. Moral of the story–beware of the surface under your wool mat!

  11. Linda White says:

    I find the cost of these mats prohibitive for my very limited budget. I have heard of some people ordering wool horse blankets and cutting them into various sizes to press on. Anyone out there who’s done that? Thoughts? suggestions?

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      That’s an interesting thought. Are wool horse blankets that much cheaper? The one con I can think of is that a horse blanket probably isn’t that thick. You would still need to drape it over an ironing board so it doesn’t wreck your table.

      • Shawn Duray says:

        Yes, they are that much cheaper! You can get a wool saddle pad, 30x30x1/2″ for just over $30.00! The ones I found were $31.99. Search for wool liner saddle pad.

      • Wynema says:

        After a bit of searching, I found. Eco Plush pads sold at thicknesses of 1/2″, 3/8″, and 1/4″. Eco Plush pads are 100% recycled felt made from new unused carpet fibers and yarn, non-toxic, and eco-friendly. Plus, made in USA. You can pick your size from 1 ft x 1ft to 16 ft x 24 ft. They are having Easter Sale.

    • Mae De la Rosa says:

      I bought a wool blanket and my local army/navy store just for this purpose to save money. I folded it several times to fit my ironing board and made a cover to fit over it. The cover was necessary because it sheds. So when I used it, the fabric got a lot of fuzzies from the wool blanket that were difficult to remove. But the cover solved that problem. I like having the wool because it gives a nice cushion on my board which I found to be to hard, even with the soft cover that came with the ironing board. With the flooded wool blanket underneath it is so much easier to get a good result when ironing. It only cost $20 for the wool blanket and it covers the entirety of my ironing board. I recommend it this DIY solution.

    • Amanda Shipley says:

      Someone at our Guild went to a carpet shop, explained what she was looking for, and got wool carpet padding. She had them cut it into various sizes and they have various widths. It was much cheaper than the mats they sell at craft shows/websites.

        • Judy says:

          I ordered a large cutting mat for my ironing table 48×24 from a carpet padding shop that deals only with eco friendly products. Anyway it sheds on my fabric so I covered it with a layer of cotton. works great but sometimes does smell, it is getting less all the time but I love steam!

    • Jackie says:

      Maureen says:
      A great source for cheap wool mats measuring 30”x30” is State Line Track. Search Mustang wool mat. They cost about $25 each. They are a tan color. They are pads used under saddles. They work just as well as the expensive grey mats. Neither the grey nor the tan mats have ever smelled when I use them.

  12. Phyllis Jones says:

    I have a wool mat next to my sewing machine and I love, love, love it. I have not noticed a bad odor and really like the convenience of not having to go to my ironing board to press each seam. Makes piecing quilts even more fun and faster too.

      • Barbara Kelly says:

        When I got my mat , the label warned about high iron temps, so I keep my cordless iron at Medium and it works well . If I want to use high heat, I put a pressing cloth on the mat.

    • Tiffany Turo says:

      Same, but I think we are running the iron too hot- the cotton setting is burning the wool. Yes everyone, wool will scorch. I’m going to make a cotton cover for my pad as a solution as suggested here.. I also found that you can melt aspirin on the hot iron to clean off the burnt stuff- but do near a vent or outside as it makes a serious stink.

  13. Dawn says:

    I read you shouldn’t use spray starch or Flatter or Best Press with a wool mat as it builds up and will eventually ruin the mat……if there’s a smell to the mat it will dissapate but the spray starch won’t.

  14. Andrea says:

    I bought a heavy weight 100% wool blanket ($50). I split the blanket with a quilting friend (cost now $25). The half that I have fits my big board (24×60) doubled. Works very well at a fraction of the cost.

  15. Lori says:

    I got a small one like yours about 4 years ago, loved it so much that I hunted around and ended up having another mich bigger one custom cut by The Featherweight Shop to fit a board I was already using as an ironing station. I actually cover it with fabric and change the covering periodically – LOVE IT!!! It goes to all retreats and sew days with me, I don’t care how big it is, I make room! Just saw they now have a Paca Pressing Mat, made from 100% Alpca…says it is great for those sensitive to wool by fiber or fragrance, and is 3 times more insulating than wool. Hmmmmm….I did not need to see that 😁

  16. Karen Quigley says:

    I don’t use steam at all, just a hot iron. Of course, my iron was so hot that it burned the wool. I didn’t get any residue on my iron but my mat has burn marks. If you don’t steam, check your iron setting before you use the mat.

  17. Kristi Wilson says:

    I love using a wool mat. However, twice now on two different irons, I’ve gotten some residue on the iron plate from using the mat. Had to work at getting the black goo off. I called the company to ask what’s up with that but no reply. (National Stay at Home orders in effect). Anyway, has anyone else had this problem? What can I do to avoid this?

  18. Francine says:

    I have two wool mats side by side on my tabletop ironing board to make a larger surface. I scorched my first mat and noticed an unpleasant smell when I used steam so I have a piece of muslin covering the wool. I can use high heat, steam, Best Press and not worry about the mat. I just toss the muslin in the washer when it needs it. I love the wool mats!

    • Terry Craviotto says:

      Yes, I also use 2 mats side by side on the ironing board. Most times I use steam, with no scorching, so far. (Love Sew brand) My daughter gave me a small one for next to my sewing machine, but I’ll need a new small iron to use that! Oh no! 😉 Another tool!🤩

  19. Jude says:

    I don’t mind the smell… however my son stopped by one day to say hello. As soon as he got to the sewing room door he said “Hi, geez Mum, What’s that smell?” HAHAHA

  20. Esther R Trevino-Neasloney says:

    I love my mat. I don’t mind the smell but my husband came upstairs and opened my windows because he said it smelled. Ha Ha! I do use steam maybe I try ironing dry. I did scorch it a bit. Is there a way to remove that?

  21. Jeanie says:

    I was excited to receive my wool mat. I sew while standing at my island, so set the mat up next to me. After using the mat for awhile, I heard a big cracking sound. My granite countertop cracked from the heat! I got rid of it, needless to say. What a bummer- for me:(

        • Basil says:

          Wool is a wonderful heat conductor and granite is very fragile when heated! I assume what happened is the mat got so hot that it was heating the granite too much. You shouldn’t put any hot object on granite because there’s definitely a chance of it cracking.

  22. Toni Guerrero says:

    When I started using my mat, I was horrified at the barn smell! So I picked up my mat, threw it in the dryer with my felted wool dryer balls and a febreze dryer sheet, and let it run. A second session in the dryer a couple days later, and my mat doesn’t smell at all. I love it! I bought a cheapie off eBay and am now looking into the ideas in the comments here for my full size ironing board. Thanks, guys!

    • Tammy Halliday says:

      Oh my goodness that is genius! I had a similar experience to dude, my 15-year-old walked into my sewing room tonight and was like “oh my god Mum what the …? this place smells like butt.” It’s the only disappointing thing about the mat, but I have been using steam setting. I am definitely putting it in the dryer for a few runs because it’s really affecting my enjoyment of my quilting.

  23. Roxanne says:

    Just to keep your followers informed. I bought the 20×50 mat from project wool and it is only 1/4” thick. I didn’t see that on the page and was assuming that all Matt’s are the same thickness…. I am hoping this isn’t a problem.

  24. Rachael Carino says:

    Hi Suzy, this is a little off topic, but one of the quilt examples you used in this post reminded me of the Bright-Pink-Wall-Hanging quilt in your shop for the Reflections Wall Hanging pattern. Do you happen to know the names/manufacturer of those fabrics? They are so beautiful! I would love to make a quilt for my niece using those same fabrics.

  25. LeAnn Haggard says:

    Short answer, I made one since I’m just starting out. I was able to order 100% “Wool Felt Fabric” for in-store pick up. Washed it super hot and shrank it as far as I could. A double layer of the result is 1/2″ thick. I won’t lie, it was a process and I would do a couple of things differently. But it works great, smells wonderful, is “natural” cream color without any dye to bleed, and cost less than what I found online for a similar size.

  26. Peggy says:

    There are some irons that have a surface that have a tendency to collect a residue on the iron. My iron just has a silver surface and I have never had a problem. Others have problems with irons with non-stick surfaces. It could also be from high heat, steam, or whatever. Use something like Goo-gone or an iron cleaner. Then make sure to always put a cover over your mat. That keeps starch from building up as well.

  27. Carrie Woodworth says:

    I have a wool mat and like it…except for the smell incurred from steam. I recently got an alpaca mat. Like it too. Yes, they are very handy to have beside the machine. I think that is what they are meant for is small area pressing.

  28. Linda McQuerry says:

    I purchased all four wool mats from Love-Sew and have had NO smell only glorious pressing of my quilt seams. I also do not put anything under it and there is no heat under the mat.

  29. Helen says:

    I just bought a wool mat from Love-Sew. Tonight I followed their instructions – wool heat, steam. It seemed to be doing a great job pressing the first couple of strip sets…until I noticed my iron dragging. Yes, there is funky residue all over the bottom of my iron. I hope I can clean it up after it cools. And yes, there is a hot wet smell. Also, Love-Sew was a little more expensive than similar Amazon products, and they charged shipping. Not happy with my purchase.

  30. Robin Harel says:

    Hi Suzy, I am Vegan and would like to know if you are aware of an alternative quilters pressing matt instead of wool. Unusual question I know but I will not purchase a wool matt. Thank you.

  31. Susan J says:

    I love, love, love my wool pressing mat! I don’t have to get out my ironing board for every little thing I need to press! I put an extra cutting may under it so no moisture gets through to my wood counter and it works great! My seams are sharp and flat every time! I highly recommend this product!

  32. Noël says:

    Years ago I folded up an old wool blanket and used it as an underliner beneath my cotton ironing board cover. I cannot even remember if I moved it to the new ironing board, lol. It gives the same benefits other than the textured surface, which I don’t need, and is the full length of my ironing board.
    I have seen wool ironing board covers that are basically small yardage that is draped over the ironing board.

  33. Cathy Urratio says:

    Suzy, I’m trying to set up a small ironing station in my sewing room and recently found the perfect sized cabinet – but- it has a granite top. I was planning to use a wool pressing mat but didn’t realize granite would crack ( ?) so easily as in another post..What can I put on it to dissipate the heat under the wool? Will a towel work as it did on the wood table?

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      I’m shocked to hear that granite cracks under indirect heat, but if someone had that experience, I wouldn’t want to risk it either. Depending on the size of the wool mat and your cabinet top, you could get a portable ironing surface that you lay down before placing the wool mat on top. I’ve tried towels under mats before and if you’re using steam (which I always do) that will soak through the towel (so don’t do this on a wooden surface), however it would lessen the heat, so maybe it would be OK on granite?

    • Terry D says:

      Cathy, you might try a silicone mat under the wool pad. They resist heat and will prevent moisture from getting to the table top.

  34. Maggie Knight says:

    I love the smell of wet wool! I’ve only just bought my mat. I used it with steam on top of my cutting mat!! It temporarily warped my cutting mat but no problems as this cutting mat is useless! The steam went right through my wool pressing mat so that got me thinking about my ironing board. It is made of metal mesh allowing steam to pass through so that is where I will use my lovely mat from now.

  35. PatS says:

    I got my wool pressing mat last week and am really impressed by the pressing part. Initially, I was using a small travel iron, but I switched to my larger iron and YIKES it started sticking and leaving black gunk on the iron – which also comes off on my fabric. So I’ve been reading ALL the comments here. My full size iron is cordless and my main beef with it has always been that it doesn’t get as hot as I would like, but I guess it gets too hot for this mat. Also, I suppose the travel iron doesn’t wind up getting directly on the mat when I’m pressing blocks. I will make a small cover for the mat and move on. For anyone reading this that has residue on their iron, I’ve found the magic eraser pads do a good job of removing it.

    • BetsyE says:

      Many wool mats are not 100% wool… so that might have been the problem. Some are from the car manufacturing process, and contain polyesters, and other synthetic materials that don’t like to be too hot.

  36. EllenMc says:

    Right now I’m reading as much as I can about these wool mats. I’m a new quilter and finding out about new things everyday. There are many scary negatives that are holding me back from purchasing one including a hefty price for a large-ish one, just to add to my unused notions area. When I mentioned this research to my husband he said that the gunk getting on everyone’s iron etc. is probably melted LANOLIN which is a natural substance in wool fibers, kind of like a WAX. It helps make wool so insulating. However, heat and especially steam heat will make the lanolin melt and run!!!!! Who knew! So I guess these mats will work fine for experienced quilters but I might skip it for now!

  37. Noni says:

    I have a 100% Alpaca mat from a local Alpaca breeder. I LOVE IT! I have no odor at all but I covered it when I first got it. I do use steam. I have no odor at all 😊 I am intrigued by the wood clapper because my seams are still hard to get as flat as I would like.
    PS….. I also bubbled up my craft table on the corner. So I got the cheapest ironing pad I could find with a product on one side the does “ not” transfer heat so it is in my case under the wool. It has really helped.
    Thank you for the idea of febreze idea. I have used mine for 2-3 years now so I would like to freshen it up.
    Love this site. I just found it this morning….

  38. Lorraine Gunn says:

    Steven Bland, from “The Idiot Quilter” suggested using a clean, new Mr. Clean Eraser on a cold gunked up iron, in a circular motion (LOTS of elbow grease, and I used 4 pads) this took every bit of melted applique residue off when nothing else would, and he said to finish the procedure off by pressing over a dryer sheet to polish up the sole plate (do this on a scrap of fabric larger than the dryer sheet) my Rowenta pride and joy is as good as new now.

  39. Nancy says:

    Has anyone tried using the thin silicone mats meant for kitchen use under their wool mats? They are meant to place hot items on and come in various sizes.
    Speaking of wool I’m just itching to get into quilting! Unfortunately I just broke both wrists (darn pickle ball) so I am very thankful to have stumbled across Suzy and all. While I’m healing up I am gaining so much good info. Thank you all for sharing.

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Are you thinking of using one of these mats instead of an ironing board? I bet it could work! You may need to wipe it down occasionally so moisture doesn’t get trapped there during a long steamy ironing session.

  40. Peg says:

    I have a small one for class. But at the time I could not afford a big mat. So I had some wool leftover from a coat project and folded it up and put on top of my board. IT works Great!!!

  41. Joanne says:

    I bought a locally (Canadian) sourced 100% alpaca wool mat and I LOVE it! All the same great features as the sheep wool mats, but the best part is there is NONE of the stink!

  42. Marg Vaughan says:

    It would be a good practice to occasionally put your wool pressing mat outside in the sun to dry it out. This would also help the odour.
    Wool holds moisture all the time regardless of using steam or not.
    Ps Also heard of a granite kitchen bench top cracking from an air fryer placed directly on it!

  43. MC says:

    I always use my tiny travel iron with my mat and have never had a problem. The packaging says not to use steam and with my little iron, I never need it anyway.
    I think the alpaca wool mat from Saskatchewan would be great.

  44. Liz R says:

    I asked a vendor how much a 4′ x 6′ mat would be. They quoted almost $500. This is too expensive. I need an alternative for a work station.

  45. mhmac says:

    This cracks me up. People reacting to the smell of wool. With the introduction of synthetics I guess it’s not a smell people are used to anymore. I didn’t grow up on a farm; didn’t have to to know the smell of wet sheep. It always reminds me of rainy days when I was in school. As we all came slogging inside out of the rain, that smell filled the halls because we were all wearing wool: wool coats, wool skirts, wool sweaters, etc. To me it was the smell of winter. Yes, I’m old.

  46. Ellen says:

    Hi Suzy, I bought the same mat you have. It worked well the first time I used it. The second time, the iron started sticking on the mat and I smelled a burning smell. There was hard, black residue on the mat and on the fabric I was ironing. The fabric was ruined. It seems to have polyester in the mat? Did this ever happen with anyone else?

  47. Paula says:

    Yes that happened to me! I just bought my 4 th wool pressing mat …Gypsy Quilter brand all of them. I have had no issues with the first 3 over several years of near daily use. This new one left the sticky black residue over my iron. It claims to be 100% wool. Interestingly the first 3 were made in the US …this one comes from China…hmmmm

    • Karen says:

      I used a 1/4” (sanded and slightly rounded on the corners on the edges) piece of plywood to fit the top of a donated wicker dresser.
      I covered the board with heavy duty tinfoil (to block moisture and reflect heat)
      I took an old 100% wool blanket… folded it over and pulled tight and stapled the edges to the back side of the plywood.
      I made a removable cover for it from a heavy cotton upholstery material I like the design of.
      I fashioned like a conventional ironing board cover with a drawstring to pull tight.
      Finally…even though that has been working well ..I couldn’t resist and just recently got a rolled up 15”x54” wool mat on Amazon. tuck under the cover already made.
      I also have a much smaller mat that sits on my sewing table next to machine to reach over and press as I piece. I put a cotton dinner napkin on top of that one.
      I’m 75 yrs old…I think I’m set for life on pressing mats!

  48. Mary says:

    Can your wool mats be used with Best Press starch? I ordered a different brand from Amazon, and when I used Best Press, the wool fibers came loose and stuck permanently to the bottom of my iron, making a big, sticky mess.

    • Suzy Williams says:

      Oh my goodness! That is very frustrating. I haven’t experienced that and I have used Best Press on mine. I do, however, water my Best Press down by about 50%. Who knows if that makes a difference.

  49. Pam says:

    Anyone know if wool felted pressing mats give you the same results as wool pressing mats? Or know of any cons of wool felted pressing mats? (They are cheaper)

    • Suzy Williams says:

      I believe these are the same thing. The wool needs to be felted in order to be stable enough to be a pressing mat. I would just double check that what you’re buying is 100% wool and not a blend.

  50. Mary says:

    I have to use a cotton cloth over my 100% wool pressing mat. When I try to iron without the cloth, it leaves a residue on my iron. Have you run into anyone having this issue before? I’ve tried two different pressing mats, both 100% wool, and have the same issue with both. Very frustrating! Any insights or help would be appreciated!!

    • Catalina Urias says:

      I personally haven’t run into this issue. But others have. It may be caused by a wool blend or the steam loosing the glues holding the wool layers together. I’ve heard that a magic eraser can get the gunk off your iron. But totally understand how frustrating that could be!

  51. Stella says:

    Doesn’t putting a pillowcase over the wool pressing mat defeat the purpose of allowing the wool to grasp the fabric for pressing?

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