Clothing designer Shari Noble met me with my 50-pound ironing set on the sidewalk outside her studio on Seattle’s First Avenue. Noble leads the Mason etiquette, and she spends a lot of time ironing. Currently, she is relying on a Black & Decker model that she bought from Goodwill for $ 10, following the untimely demise of her more industrial one. Iron Sapporo SP-527, who never recovered from a fall to the ground. She also has nifty ironing accessories, a skinny mini-board just for the sleeves, a “mitten” to pass the hand through and a ham-shaped “ham” that lets you work specific parts of a garment. (The existence of an ironing ham made me laugh for five minutes.)
On the side was also a Shark-branded steamboat which she seemed to consider a necessary evil. “This stuff is crap,” she said, before turning an optimistic eye to the Laurastar.
She immediately appreciated the high and sturdy board, as well as the weight of the iron.
“I like a heavy iron,” she says. “Weight is a big deal. It helps you press down.”
She put a pillowcase with scissors printed on it on the tray and hit the steam button.
“Whoa,” she yelped, smiling. “There is a time and place not to use steam, but generally I want steam.”
Here she had a lot and quickly made a connection between the quality of the Laurastar and her beloved missing Sapporo. She loved heat and steam but was more skeptical of the fan, never fully embracing it during my time there.
One thing that worried her was the delicate fabric. The iron comes with a protective soleplate, essentially a heat diffuser which still allows the use of steam. Unlike most irons, there is no temperature adjustment with the Laurastar, just the sole. In my testing, this surprising lack of options was surprisingly good, but Noble was more skeptical.
She pulled out a large square of wool at $ 40 a yard, hesitated a moment, pressed the sole against the fabric for a moment, then winced.
“He scored,” she said, holding the wool up in the air, revealing an iron-shaped imprint. “I would always recommend using a press cloth.”
Back home, I continued to test, iron out everything I could, improve myself and become more proficient. I learned that ironing some of my underpants and T-shirts was quick, surprisingly nice, and well worth it.