Thread Number: 79185  /  Tag: Irons and Mangles
Here's A New Angle To Sell Ironers
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Post# 1031061   4/28/2019 at 06:25 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Had no idea a crèche would need an ironer; but there you are then.

Can't recall what our nursery school or kindergarten teachers did with blankets and such. Suppose they must have been laundered routinely, but by who can't really say. They certainly weren't ironed. *LOL*

Post# 1031078 , Reply# 1   4/28/2019 at 10:07 by Kate1 (Idaho)        

I can be pretty certain that no daycare or preschool in this country is having their linens ironed lol. I toured dozens before finding the one my children attended, and I picked it partly because of its exceptional cleanliness and neatness (not that any I saw were horrendous) and the carers that worked there probably would have laughed if I’d asked if they iron anything. They did have their own laundry on site, a front loader Speed Queen, and they took turns everyday doing the wash. Now, I’m sure there are daycare facilities in larger cities that probably just have their linens professionally laundered, and that would get ironed, but it still would not be the actual employees of that facility. I will say that it wouldn’t surprise me if French crèches are actually bothering to iron, they’re pretty good at making American daycares and preschools look bad in almost every way and this would just be one more thing.

How common are these ironers in Europe anyway? I had only ever seen such things at professional dry cleaners here, I had no idea they were even available to regular consumers. I have to admit, if I had the money, I would snap one right up. I just imagine how much easier it would be for me to iron fabric for sewing projects, curtains and drapes, tablecloths (which I always have on my kitchen table), and bedsheets. I’m also slightly entranced by the videos on YouTube demonstrating these ironers, they make it seem so peaceful and calming and the women look so dignified doing it. I’m probably succumbing to the marketing but I kinda want to be one of these women in the videos!

Post# 1031080 , Reply# 2   4/28/2019 at 11:03 by luxflairguy (Wilmington NC)        

Let's put it this way from first hand knowledge:  cleanliness levels are so superior in Eureopean countries compared to ours!  Never saw an ironer in use, but who's knows!   I so miss my Miele ironer that's in storage!! G

Post# 1031083 , Reply# 3   4/28/2019 at 11:31 by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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Here is more about it.

One of the names it is sold under is Gritzner, an old sewing machine company that was taken over by Pfaff at some time IIR.

Post# 1031085 , Reply# 4   4/28/2019 at 12:03 by Michaelman2 (Atlanta, GA)        
Pfaff Ironer

Laundress, isn’t that the ironer that was built from the Ironrite design? Open ended on both sides of the roller and center mounted roller. I remember in an ironer discussion years ago someone brought up another reason linens were ironed and this was for sanitation. I would imagine this would help keep things in a nursery or pre-school “cleaner”.

Post# 1031089 , Reply# 5   4/28/2019 at 13:55 by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

Miele sells (home use) rotary irons in the USA. Are any other brands sold here, other than commercial models?

Post# 1031090 , Reply# 6   4/28/2019 at 13:59 by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

looks like the Verve is sold by AJ Madison. From Czech Republic.

control panel similar to the one in Laundress' video.

Both the Verve and (home-use) Miele rotaries use 120V. commercial Mieles need 240V.

Post# 1031092 , Reply# 7   4/28/2019 at 14:40 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Pfaff Literally Made "Ironrite" Type Ironers

launderess's profile picture
Using the expired patents from the defunct Ironrite company. Early models look nearly exactly like my portable Ironrite 890.


Pfaff was eventually gobbled up by a venture capital company (same one that owned Singer), and it was a horrible day for sewing machine enthusiasts. Factories and inventory at main headquarters in Germany were promptly emptied out of all remaining inventory and or anything else of "old" Pfaff. New machines, parts, mother boards, etc...all joined office furnishings (right down to clocks on walls) that went into bins to be rubbished. Some loyal Pfaff employees and enthuaisits tried to save what they could, but that was that.

Pfaff long ceased making ironers. A company called Holek now produces them under a variety of brand names such as Singer, Ironnette and others.

You can see from this video that same woman as in above kindergarten film is demonstrating the Ironnette. They've used a British announcer as voice over giving directions.

Personally wouldn't bother with these new "Pfaff styled" ironers. Not when can get an Ironrite almost for nothing (literally) here in the states.

In Europe there are tons of old Pfaff ironers being offered up especially in Germany. Most can be had for very little money, certainly far less than what an Ironnette goes for new.

Post# 1031093 , Reply# 8   4/28/2019 at 14:52 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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As noted only "new" rotary irons for domestic use sold in USA besides Miele are those Pfaff clones being sold under various brand names (Singer, Verve, etc...).

Pfaff ironers on this side of pond are rare (I've scored two; saw a third but let it go), and personally if space isn't an issue I'd recommend getting an Ironrite. You can find late model 95's all over often for very little money. Someone in PA was literally giving theirs away on CL with no takers.

Steam function for an ironer is a gimmick IMHO. Commercial laundries never have and still don't use; but rather simply iron damp things dry.

Besides it takes quite a lot of power to both generate steam (in any decent amount) and provide heat for ironing. My large Pfaff pulls > 2.5Kw, so cannot imagine what an American ironer does limited to 120v at maybe 15amps.

Post# 1031144 , Reply# 9   4/28/2019 at 20:20 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
How common are these ironers in Europe anyway?

launderess's profile picture
Had a detailed response typed out, hit "enter" and got the dreaded "Error 500" message, so am done on that score. *LOL*

Basically yes, there is a decent market for ironers/mangles in Europe. Not large as once was, but never the less demand seems to exist far more than in USA. Germany and some eastern European countries come to mind.

There is even a company called Mangelwaren who sells refurbished and new ironers/mangles with worldwide shipping.

Also at least in Germany you can still find plenty of "ironing services"; that is places where you take freshly laundered things to be ironed.

Post# 1031145 , Reply# 10   4/28/2019 at 20:23 by Michaelman2 (Atlanta, GA)        


Post# 1031530 , Reply# 11   5/2/2019 at 02:38 by Iej (Ireland)        

Rotary irons were common enough in B&Bs (small family run often fairly remote hotels) here in Ireland. It would be a total nightmare to iron bed linen by hand and a lot of laundry like that wouldn't be sent out.

Bigger hotels rarely do laundry in house these days. Makes more sense to have it done on a very large scale by a commercial laundry.

Post# 1031531 , Reply# 12   5/2/2019 at 02:42 by Iej (Ireland)        

Just did a quick Google. Seems quite a few Irish electrical retailers like DID and Harvey Norman stock Miele's rotary iron.

Post# 1031540 , Reply# 13   5/2/2019 at 06:51 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Out sourcing laundry is big on this side of pond as well.

launderess's profile picture
Hotels, hospitals, restaurants, etc... Changes in labor laws beginning in 1970's or so, rising cost of labor/supplies and fact laundries are both a capital and ongoing expense just made sending things out cheaper/easier. Many places don't even own their linen any longer; rather the linen service who does the washing.

For households or small businesses that generate a good amount of linen wanting ironing, a mangle/ironer isn't a bad investment. Can really cut down on laundry expenses.

Miele is probably the only one still making a high quality ironer for domestic and or light commercial use. That "Verve" or whatever ironer isn't in same ballpark.

Post# 1031550 , Reply# 14   5/2/2019 at 09:26 by iej (Ireland)        

It's the same here but it's as much about changing labour laws, as just specialisation and economics of scale. If you're processing vast amounts of laundry, it becomes a serious industrial process so you can achieve a lot more economies, automation and also probably reduced environmental impact in many cases too.

Post# 1031590 , Reply# 15   5/2/2019 at 16:24 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
It can go either way

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Many large healthcare or hotel/hospitality systems have their own laundries. Disney World in Florida comes to mind, as do many large hospital networks.

Tunnel washer and other technology is rapidly changing the "commercial" or industrial laundry game. It is now possible to process thousands of pounds of linens/textiles per hour with comparatively few workers. All this with being more environmentally friendly in terms of resources/energy used.

What this does is lead to ever more consolidation in commercial laundry business. If one plant can process hundreds of thousands of pounds per day, and do it for less than another, guess who is going to get business?

All this being said outsourcing laundry still brings same issues as sending things out always has; you don't have direct control over quality, turn around time can mean shortages.

For those and various other reasons you still see some hospitals, hotels and other places with in house laundry facilities.

Post# 1031653 , Reply# 16   5/3/2019 at 04:36 by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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I remember that some well to do people or big households had one at home. Neighbours, a family with 9 children had a Siemens IIRC. Their housekeeper would do some ironing on it now and then. Most people don't iron anymore as it was done in the past. Only shirts get ironed in a lot of households, the reason for the appearance on dedicated shirt ironers on the market.

Post# 1031704 , Reply# 17   5/3/2019 at 16:09 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Long used in commercial laundries, those inflatable shirt pressing devices are now showing up for home use. Some are rubbish, but others look a bit more promising.

Problem is many of these units sold for domestic market are vastly under powered and thus cannot supply enough heat and air to get the job done quickly, and or with good results. Ones sold for North American market being restricted to 120v power fall into this category.

By the time one sets things up, then waits for the usually > ten minutes for machine to do its work would have been faster to just iron shirt by hand.

Post# 1032182 , Reply# 18   5/9/2019 at 05:51 by Iej (Ireland)        

I inherited a Swiss made Elna Press which my mother had bought in the early 90s and had assumed it would be a massive time saver for the whole household. It was always pointless and ended up being consigned to the shed almost totally unused.

I've never really understood what the purpose of it is. It's a very inflexible way of ironing.

It's now ended up in my basement and I think I've used it once.

The only ironing gadget that I've ever found genuinely useful is my Tefal steam generator. Wouldn't be without that. You can get great results with just steam for jackets and delicate items

Post# 1032187 , Reply# 19   5/9/2019 at 06:24 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Press versus Ironer (Mangle)

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Choice depends upon many factors.

Pressing and ironing are two different things.

Have an Elnapress along with a vintage Hurley (quasi commercial) press. Prefer the latter because it has higher wattage of heating power, a cast iron/aluminum shoe that not only gets hot, but retains heat. The darned Elnapress constantly has to keep heating because contact with cool washing lowers shoe temperature.

Also the Hurley press has a larger buck, so can do larger flatwork items and even shirts with less moving things about (lays) than the Elna.

All this being said it comes down really to what one is "pressing" or "ironing".

Knits, t-shirts, woolens, velvets, and some other things ought to be pressed and not ironed. Anything where movement of ironing would cause fabric to distort, create a shine and so forth. Things with pleats such as a skirt are often best done on a press.

Better presses exert great amounts of force easily penetrating several layers of cloth. Thus instead of having to run a wide/long thing like table cloth or sheet through four passes; one can fold the thing into quarters and press. Of course commercial presses are large enough to accommodate such things folded only once, but no domestic press ever has had a buck that large.

Some prefer presses over an ironer because material cannot get away from you creating cat whiskers and other unwanted creases.

This old video shows a shirt being done at a commercial laundry using a press. Some of the equipment is basically the same. Doing a shirt on a press IMHO is easier than an ironer. But then again in a commercial setting then and now various parts of a shirt have their own special press; cuffs, collars, sleeves, front/back and yoke.

Can whizz through ten to 12 t-shirts in < 20 minutes on either of my presses.

My Hurley press has a buck about size of the Blanca press shown in video. Thus doing things like flatwork and shirts is pretty much the same.

Post# 1032233 , Reply# 20   5/9/2019 at 17:13 by brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        

My aunt and uncle ran a motel for 10 years. The Sheets and duvet covers were processed by a commercial laundry, but the coloured pillowcases were laundered onsite.

As a kid, they'd pay me 1c per Pillow case to press them. With the Elnapress you basically could do the entire pillow case in 4 movements with two folds.

I cant imagine using one for regular ironing, unless you were ironing a lot of collarless T Shirts.

Post# 1032234 , Reply# 21   5/9/2019 at 17:37 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
For anything but the smallest flatwork

launderess's profile picture
Napkins, towels, tea cloths, pillow slips, etc... You are either must resign to folding and pressing in creases, or spending ages maneuvering things around to avoid.

Truth to tell those using both domestic ironers and presses have that same issue. Neither are sold today in widths anywhere near large enough to accommodate even twin sheets folded just the once. So you have to either get used to ironed in creases or sit yourself down for prolonged periods of ironing. Trick then becomes keeping freshly ironed/pressed sections from becoming mussed while moving onto other parts.

Post# 1032269 , Reply# 22   5/10/2019 at 06:04 by Iej (Ireland)        

I don't iron any of those.
I iron pillow cases but I do bed linen like this:

Take out of dryer .. straight onto bed. Iron bed with steam generator.

Post# 1032271 , Reply# 23   5/10/2019 at 06:28 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Well yes, you could do things that way.

launderess's profile picture
Tumble drying largely replaced ironing upon their wide introduction and spread into homes or commercial laundries. Most housewives/homes sent men's shirts out and everything else went into dryer.

All of my household linens are just that; made from linen or hemp, and none of it goes into dryer. Things are either cold mangled or ironed (by hand or machine).

Post# 1032319 , Reply# 24   5/10/2019 at 15:02 by iej (Ireland)        

I don't really wear extremely form shirts, but I generally just do them like this:

1. Wash on shirts cycle in the Miele which ends with a steam care cycle.
2. Hang on plastic hangers on a rack and let air dry naturally.
3. Iron

I don't generally dry any of my t-shirts in the dryer either. Just spin fast, and hang up. They're typically dry in a few hours.

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