Jenny K Lyons
I’ve got two completely different subjects this week, so you’ll see two posts. I received my LAURASTAR Smart i steam generating system on Tuesday and got it set up yesterday. Wahoo! I didn’t know it was coming and the name of the shipper was not LAURASTAR. I didn’t realize what was being delivered…..until this arrived at my door:
Given that it was about 5′ long and weighed about 50 pounds, I made a wild leap and assumed it was my LAURASTAR. I mentioned last week I was chosen to be a LAURASTAR Ambassador and I wasn’t quite sure how all this would work.
It was like a Christmas surprised then when I unboxed it – it was the “Smart i” system with “active board”. I’ll explain all of that in a minute.
It took me maybe 20 minutes just to unbox it and about the same to get it set up. I was relieved that it did not take up a bigger footprint than my previous board – whew! I was worried that it might take up too much space in my studio:
Here it is sitting next to my old board. You can see that the LAURASTAR is a bit wider, which is good, and it can sit about 4″ taller than my standard board. That was a nice surprise! I am short, but I can’t tell you how many times I wished my ironing board rode higher – those times when you’re ironing or fusing something fussy or small. I have mono-vision and sometimes I need to put my face close to what I’m working on. That extra height will be nice to have.
I’m giggling as I see that photo – note the completely trashed ironing board cover on my old board. I am sometimes careless about protecting my board cover. As soon as I got my LAURASTAR set up, I ordered another cover and their slick iron cleaning system – not that I will need them or anything….
Once I got it out of the box, I realized that it had integrated wheels on the board. All I needed to do to move all 42 lbs of it was to wheel it in place. Cool! I had a few questions and I called customer service and get this – I got a person, not a menu! I forgot his name, but he was super helpful and helped me get set up. The customer service was excellent – I did not get someone in a phone bank who was getting answers from their computer. It was a real person who knew the system and easily answered my questions.
LAURASTAR has numerous short, very well done videos about the system and how to use it. They clearly show the features and details of the system and get right to the point. My fav so far is “How to Iron a Shirt in 2 Minutes” which uses a handsome dude and it doesn’t hurt that you get a glance at his 6-pack at the end. Oh you totally clicked on that link, didn’t you???
I’m impressed with the design and engineering of the system:
The iron can store on the silicone pad even when it’s hot, or, on the shelf underneath, in case you want the full length beyond the board. See that little hook to the left? That holds your sole plate cover for delicates, right there, at the ready. Love that.
Minor detail, but one I appreciate: the thingy that holds the hose has a plastic disc that slips right into the holder and holds it firmly in place. It will not slide back and forth as you iron.
The steam is super fine and leaves fabric dry. LAURASTAR’s steam generating system is 15x faster than a regular iron. The steam also acts as a disinfectant so I briefly steamed my masks and they are sanitized! The literature says it kills up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. I wished I had this system in the early pandemic stage. I also took a wrinkled suit jacket and just puffed it with steam on the hanger and it looked like it just came from the dry cleaners. Slick!
There is only one heat setting with this system, yet it will handle the finest silk or heavy denim. To iron a delicate blouse, you can just steam it on the hanger. If you needed to actually touch it with the iron, say you had delicate yardage, you would snap the soleplate cover to the bottom of the iron to protect it.
I was thrilled to receive the active board as well. I know I will be spoiled now and never want a normal board again. The active board has a fan and will either blow air up or suck air in.
Here’s why I care: ever had your fabric move around as you iron? Super annoying. I had gotten a super reflective cover for my old board – you know, the one you see demo’ed at every quilt show. They are great because they reflect the heat so well that it irons both sides at once. The only problem was that surface was slippery and items moved around as you ironed. I did not like that.
With an “active board”, you can have it suck the fabric to your board and it stays put! Or you can have it puff up, which stretches the fabric making wrinkles almost impossible. Once the iron was set up, I got to playing a bit, fusing some MistyFuse to fabric and ironing out a large backing piece. Oh man, it was so quick and easy! The iron itself is light weight because it’s simply an iron.
And then there’s the whole “smart” part which I am still learning about. It will tell me when I need to descale (a very simple process) and can connect me right to the store to order new supplies or accessories. It takes about 3 minutes to heat up and will auto-turn off after 10 minutes, but I think there is a way to over ride that.
The one thing I wish it had was a way to hold my needed items right there at the board. There was no such system, so I devised this tacky method of keeping things close at hand. I did this on my previous board, but I was reluctant to trash out my beautiful, sophisticated system with my tacky add-on. Silly thing maybe, but we all need our sprays, starches, liquid fabric stabilizers and cleaners right there at the board, right?
So far I am impressed. My summary of favorite features I’ve discovered so far:
Ease of set up.
Simple and easy way to sanitize just about anything.
Ability to steam garments on their hanger.
Fabric care from the most delicate to the sturdy, without having to change temp.
The steam! Powerful and instant yet leaves fabric dry.
That active board – how did I ever live without it?
All ironing and steaming tasks are significantly easier and faster.
If you are thinking about buying a system, give me a holler. Ambassadors can pass on coupons for some purchases. Lucky me – I am loving this system. I still have discoveries to make and I’ll be writing about them as I go. Let me know if you have any questions.