I’ve had a love/hate relationship with clothing care. Ironing, especially. I love the way things smell and look after they’ve been steamed and pressed. But I hate standing over a wobbly ironing board with steam billowing into my face while the iron is either hot enough to leave scorch tatoos on the sleeve of my lovely new white blouse or so cool that it leaves a trail or urine-coloured dribbles across the back of one of Hub’s shirts.

Why do I iron? Well, Hub doesn’t care if his shirts are pressed. In fact, he used to run to the washer when the end of cycle signal went, pull out all of his shirts then hang them up to air dry. He believed that any residual wrinkles would ‘iron out’ from the heat of his body. Now he is a hot-bodied guy but honestly, wrinkles are wrinkles. He never looked bad, but I wanted sharp creases in the sleeves and a super-flat collar. You can’t get a sharp crease in wool trousers without lots of heat and moisture. And summer is cottons and linens season and there is no way you can pull them out of the laundry and wear them without a serious pressing.

My first concession was a new ironing board from Walmart. $49.00. That puppy is huge – Hub says it looks more like a surf-board. Wide, long and steady. I’d bought a high-end one from Costco a few months ago ($150) but returned it. The metal grate under the cover was so thin it creaked and popped like a piece of sheet metal in the wind.

2014-08-31 14.12.52If you had told me a year ago that I would drop $200 on an ironing device, I would have called you mad – once I got up from rolling on the floor laughing. I did, though, after using one in my European Pattern Drafting class and falling in love with not having to run to the sink every 15 minutes to fill up the puny water tank on a ‘steam iron’.

The DeLonghi PRO300 Professional Ironing System with Pressurized Boiler wasn’t made in Italy. Angola or Mexico. Good grief. But it’s all about the $$ isn’t it? I read dozens of reviews online before I finally decided to buy it through Amazon.ca. It was delivered from Forum Home Appliances in B.C. in four days.

steamboilerThis baby is amazing. Sure I’ve only had it for three days but I’ve blasted through the contents of two long-neglected laundry hampers of Hub’s shirts, blouses and my t-shirts, table napkins, table cloths, a pair of linen jackets, three pairs of trousers, two skirts and a bunch of pillowcases. And to think I used to mock my mother for ironing pillowcases.

Now, I pop my iPod into the speaker dock, pour 1 1/2 liters of water into the holding tank, plug in the cord, wait 10 minutes for it to come to boiler temperature and get to work.  It takes about 45 seconds to do a t-shirt. One of Hub’s shirts takes longer due to all the parts that have to be manipulated.

I’m mad about ironing. I zone out, it’s so fast and easy. Continuous steam? Almost as good as red wine. And the Delonghi is fantastic for sewing projects. Yeah, maybe it’s a sign of old age that I can get all steamed up about doing a professional pressing job. But boy, does doing a good job feel well…good. My standards have been met. Thus endeth the lesson.