Steaming along

When my grandmother came for an extended visit recently, she immediately pulled out her sewing machine and overlocker and was happily adjusting as many of my clothes as I could find that needed taking in, re-hemming or changing. It became obvious that she needed reasonably easy access to the iron. When I bought her one for her exclusive use on day 2 of her visit she pointed out that it was unnecessary because we already had one. To this I responded that I love my iron. There was no need to elaborate about my low tolerance for sharing it.

That is how serious a matter it is when I say that I've found something for my clothes that rivals my Panasonic because my new favourite household gadget is this small, attractive and absolutely useful timesaver. The Kambrook Swift Steam is a hand-held clothes and linen steamer that does wonders for getting the wrinkles and creases out of clothes as well giving them a bit of a freshen up after some light wear.

What I love about it isn't just how much easier and faster it makes the morning dressing routine but also how beautiful it is to use and hold. Unlike my old TOBI steamer, the water receptacle and steam head are one unit meaning the limit to reach is the power cable rather than the connecting hose. With the use of an extension lead, you can reach up to the top of the window if you're steaming your curtains. Also unlike the traditional steamers, this one is trigger operated so it doesn't use as much water.

The best features for me are the sub-20 second ready to go start-up and the strength of the steam. Inconsistent steam used to be one of the frustrating aspects of my TOBI.

There are many advantages to using a steamer instead of an iron: no burning the fabric, no heat shimmer on the fabric and there's no need for a board. Particularly when it's just a quick de-crumpling in the morning, it's a particularly efficient way to get sorted.

There are a couple of considerations, however. I find the steamer works best on slightly heavier fabrics: it does wonders on cotton shirts. It's easier and better to hang the garment on a hook so you can use your other hand to pull the fabric taught, especially if it's a lighter weave such as satin or chiffon.

My grandmother used the steamer a couple of times and decided it was very useful. She headed home earlier this week and made sure to stash one in her luggage.

Gadget Girl's conclusion? Whilst I wouldn't get rid of my iron, if I had to choose one or the other I'd definitely have the Swift Steam: it's far more versatile and efficient.Swift Steam Garment Steamer - Ironing - In The Home
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