Friday, December 30, 2011

The Thor Gladiron Mangle

Oh, boy I got a little crazy this time.  I was shopping my local favorite thrift shop and low and behold this beauty was sitting in the corner.  It was an item I have long been curious about, an iron mangle.
The Mighty Ironrite
 Many times I have seen lovely ones like this Ironrite but space has always been a problem.  Now here was a little one that I could actually fit in my sewing space!  It came home right away.
She's So Cute! 
The Thor Gladiron is a bit less common and sophisticated than the bigger and more deluxe Ironrite but it does have it's charms.  The idea of using a roller iron is not gone, there are still mangles made today.  The Miele company has a nice one as seen Here. There is less demand of course as we just don't do so much household ironing.  Who irons bedsheets and tea towels?
Fabric on the Roller

Using this item has taken some practice.  Now, I am a dinosaur that actually does iron clothes and with sewing there is always a need for an iron.  Operating a Gladiron is almost completely different than what I am used to.  Thankfully, there is an instruction manual that shows how to iron every thing from dish cloths, shirts, bras and even underwear.  The main selling point is that you can iron a shirt in 4 minutes - but I have not been able to do it nearly so fast.....yet.  I am still trying to get used to using a spray bottle and two hands for handling the fabric without it pulling all crazy through the roller.  Practice practice practice. 

How it works: It works by just placing the fabric on the arm, plug it in and then the fabric feeds through.  Keep hands away from lava hot metal iron. 

Gladiron Temperature Gauge

It is a simple machine really.  There is a temperature control dial that can be adjusted with great sensitivity - moderate to very very hot.  Much variable heat than a typical iron.  Once it is plugged in the roller turns.  There is no on/off switch.  All controls are with a knee lever that has 3 positions.  It is a combination of those three position that make it stop, open or move again.
Three Position Knee Control
 Once you get a feel for it it's really easy.  There are side extensions to add to the work space but I have no room now - even for a picture, sorry.  They are stored underneath for the time being.
Gladiron Table Extensions
  The nice thing about this, other than it's utter coolness, is that is takes up as much space as a nightstand.  If you need to store it, the entire top can be folded downwards to fit inside frame sideways.  I broke the screw that holds it in place in transit, so no folding for the time being.
Now, it won't replace a regular iron and board but it does have some use.  I pre-wash a lot of  fabric and getting it pressed for cutting is a pain, particularly if there is 2 or more yards.  This baby makes short work of that job, and does well at high and low temperatures.  It's kind of fun to use too.
Here's a quick view if it in action.