Have you ever seen anyone so happy about ironing? Yep, that’s me in the photo above with our new Oliso Mini Project Iron. This little marvel started hitting online and in-store retail outlets just this past summer, and we’ve been waiting to get our hands on one. Now that we have, we are not letting go. We love the full-size Oliso irons we use in our studios, but my-oh-my – this mighty mini is a new favorite.
We tend to go on and on about the importance of proper pressing here at Sew4Home. That’s because it’s one of the things that is crucial to a professional finish. A lumpy, bumpy seam screams “amateur” louder than just about anything else. Pressing carefully throughout a project’s construction makes everything better.
If you’ve used a mini iron or travel iron before and been disappointed, don’t let that scare you away from this iron! Oliso packed many of the same quality features of their regular irons into this mini. It works fabulously at home or away. In fact, we found the iron to be versatile and powerful enough to use on an entire project.
Because it’s smaller and lighter, we were able to maneuver the Mini Iron much more easily in tight spaces. It has a precision tip that acts as the perfect detailer, allowing you to get into intricate seams and corners. Yes, the heat goes all the way into the point. Besides the teeny tiny parts of a project, this iron is also great for curved seams and hems, precision pleating, and for pressing darts – especially when using a pressing ham.
The design of the Mini Iron is extremely ergonomic. It fits naturally into your hand with a comfortable grip that limits wrist strain. The only caution is to hold it as shown – with your fingers near the buttons. You don’t want to grip it like you’re picking fruit, with your fingers near the sole plate. This iron gets hot, and hot means unhappy fingers.
There were zero issues with temperature. Using 1000 watts, this little guy heats up in seconds and stays hot. The pulsating status light around the fabric selector dial will turn solid to let you know the iron is fully heated and ready to go. There are three heat settings: Low for synthetics, Medium for wool and silk, and High for linen and cotton. It’s easy to switch the voltage setting from 110/120 to 220/240.
Steam consistency can be a problem with small irons (many don’t even offer the option of steam), but not with this Mini Iron. Fill the top reservoir with standard tap water (maximum capacity is about 50ml), wait for the steam button status light to turn blue, and the iron is ready to go. The steam function only works in the Medium and High settings.
To use a burst of steam, just press in the steam buttons on the sides. One press releases a generous burst of steam. Because the iron is light, it’s easy to lift it a few inches above your fabric to blast a burst of steam to set a seam. Or hold it flat against your fabric to send the steam directly from the soleplate onto your project.
Speaking of the soleplate. The Oliso soleplate technology on this Mini Iron is fantastic. It’s a diamond-coated ceramic material the allows the iron to maintain even heat and glide effortlessly over fabric. It also makes it super easy to clean, durable, and scratch resistant.
The full-size Oliso Smart Irons are known throughout the industry for their iTouch® technology that allows them to rise up from the ironing surface as soon as you remove your hand. Although the Mini Project Iron doesn’t have this technology, it does have the very cool, patented Oliso Soulmate™. The Soulmate™ is a dual purpose, high temperature silicone trivet with two sides. One side grips around the sole plate for protection when storing or traveling.
Flip over the trivet to the Resting side to use as a handy and safe place to set down the iron while working. When the iron is on and resting on the proper side of the Soulmate™, it should also still be on an insulated ironing surface. Don’t just set it down on your dining room table!
The top of the Soulmate™ trivet forms a little open triangle you can use to hang up the iron in the storage position. Just wrap the cord around the iron and it’s safely and compactly out of the way.
One final “oh-boy” on our iron review list: the iron has an 8’ cord. That’s unheard of in a mini iron. There’s no need to be tethered to short plug. Plus, the cord is anchored to the iron to allow it to swivel a full 360˚.
As mentioned, the Oliso Mini Project Iron is available now at your favorite sewing and craft retailer, such as Amazon, Fat Quarter Shop or from Oliso themselves. It is available in both Yellow and Pink. Prices average from $50 – $60.