UPDATE: Content updated 4/19 to include my further thoughts after using and abusing the CHI Clothing iron for over a year.
When CHI approached me to review their new clothing iron, I was immediately intrigued. Since CHI has made such a good name for themselves in the hair world, I was eager to see if they could do the same for clothing irons.
One of the first rules of sewing is that every seam needs to be pressed well in order to get good results. So it logically follows that you need a good iron (and I was curious whether they could really go From Hair to Wear) I’ve been testing it out. Over the past year and a half I’ve steamed my curtains, pressed my hardest-to-iron clothes and my more delicate ones, and of course, used it in my sewing projects. All have been a success.
Putting It to the Test
And I wanted to show how it did on both a tricky seam and with thicker fabric combined because that’s where I saw the magic. Here’s the finished project–an Extraordinary Girl tee (which is probably my signature tee seen here and paired with my Birkin Flares).
The construction of the Extraordinary girl includes a tight curve with binding sewn on it to create the envelope-style neckline for both the back and front. Once you put the binding on, its a bit tricky to get everything laying flat–especially if you’re using a thicker French terry for the binding like I was. Here it is before pressing:
But the CHI clothing iron totally pressed and steamed it flat. I was impressed to say the least.
Did you see that? Seriously impressed. After pressing the front and back curves, they were so flat it made overlapping the shoulders and adding the sleeves a breeze.
So now that I’ve crushed on this iron to you, it’s time to share the specifications and my pros and cons list.
CHI Electronic Retractable Clothing Iron
- Retails for $99.99
- Features a titanium-infused ceramic soleplate that’s scratch resistant and has non-stick and non-static finishes
- Heats quickly
- Has a retractable cord
- Comprised of 400 steam holes
CHI Clothing Iron Pros
- Lots of steam. I mean lots. See this photo? I wasn’t even pushing the extra steam burst button. Lots of steam means those seams are FLAT (see below). I couldn’t ask for much more from an iron.
- It’s heavy. I look for nice heavy irons that do the work for me, and this one is awesome.
- Retractable cord. This isn’t a deal breaker for me in an iron, but it is nice to have. It’s easy to retract, and doesn’t get stuck.
- Auto off. This is a must-have for me. I’ve got little ones running around and often get interrupted during sewing. It beeps to let you know it’s turning off, so if I’m still working on something and hear it I can turn it back on easily.
- The water fill opening is sealed while ironing. Perhaps my pressing and ironing is a bit vigorous, but I like that even if it tips on its side or upside down the water opening is closed off during use.
- No leaking. I’ve never experienced a drop of leakage, which is a major complaint for many sewists and a major win for the CHI clothing iron.
CHI Clothing Iron Cons
- Selecting the fabric type wasn’t immediately clear to me. The indicator is up on top and lights up, but the selector is actually controlled by the dial under the handle. No big deal once I realized it, but it did have me confused for a moment.
- Finding the water tank the first time was confusing. Again, this is user error. To fill it, you twist a section at the top to expose the water tank. Easy peasy once you know where it is.
- The self-cleaning option. I’ve been using this iron a LOT since I got it. It’s the only iron I use, and it looks brand new.
- Durability. This iron gets good marks from me on durability too. I booted my Rowenta iron to backup, and haven’t used it since. But the CHI keeps on going even though I often leave it plugged in for weeks at a time and keep steam running through it constantly. I don’t even use distilled water…
Overall, I the CHI clothing iron is my favorite iron ever. I continually reach for it for tricky or tough spots. It’s an iron I’d recommend to anyone. If you’re needing a new iron, definitely check this one out!
The iron was provided to me, but the findings and opinions are mine.