I recently purchased a Singer ESP-2 Steam Press.  I had been considering a steam press for quite a while. No, not to iron my husband’s shirts, but to apply interfacing to T Shirts for my T Shirt Memory Blankets. To make a 12-block blanket, I would spend two hours applying interfacing. It wasn’t a difficult task. I would usually set up my ironing board in the living room and watch a movie while working. As the memory quilt portion of my business grew, I felt that reducing the time spent interfacing was well worth the investment.

My most “pressing” need was the amount of pressing area. I would have preferred to see one of these in a store. I called many stores, from Sears to Joanns, to vacuum and sewing machine stores, but none carried an item like this. So I had to rely on online descriptions and reviews.

You have to be careful when looking at the dimensions in the descriptions. Because of the handle and the hinge mechanism, the depth measurement will be much larger than the pressing area.  The Amazon description for this particular model says that it has a 24″ x 9″ pressing area. The actual depth is about 11″. Either way, I felt that it would take two presses for each of my T Shirts.  A machine that could press the entire T Shirt in one move was more expensive and not portable.

The machine has an on/off switch that is behind the pressing area. It is a little difficult to see and reach when the press is open.

It has five heat settings with an indicator to let you know when it has reached the proper temperature.

You can fill the water tank to provide steam. When you press one of the steam buttons on the handle, you will get a burst of steam.  You are not supposed to operate the steam burst when the unit is completely closed.  Instead, when the top is about 3″ above your garment, then you can apply the steam burst for 2 seconds.

When interfacing, I use two muslin press cloths to protect the pressing surfaces.
I lay one piece of muslin over the bottom. Make sure there aren’t any major wrinkles in it.

Lay down the T shirt and place the interfacing on top of the shirt. It’s important that your item to be interfaced is free of wrinkles, so if necessary, press it before laying down the interfacing. Otherwise, your interfaced item may have wrinkles that will not come out.

Place the second press cloth on top of the interfacing. I then spray the press cloth with a spray bottle until it is damp,.

Close the press.  The unit beeps after 10 seconds and that is a good amount for the interfacing that I am using.

I am very satisfied with the integrity of the interfacing application. It certainly has increased my productivity. I have been using it all summer without any problems.  In addition, Annie has been using it to interface her bridal clutch purses and has been very happy with the results.

I am a little disappointed in the top surface of the machine. I have cleaned it using the recommended process but cannot remove these stains. I am not sure if they are caused by the interfacing or rusting. It doesn’t seem to affect the pressing capability. 

Speaking of husband’s shirts, I prefer the no-iron variety that I hang after taking out of the dryer. But we have some nice cotton shirts that are hand-me-downs from our neighbor. So I tried pressing the shirts. They look so nice and crisp after pressing! I taught my 13-year-old son how to press the shirts, so that is his job.

The pressing surface gets very hot, so you have to be careful not to touch it when placing garments under it. Also, I have read that it’s great for pressing yardage. I’m not sure I’m sold on that yet. You have to push the fabric to the back first and then pull it toward you, otherwise it would get wrinkled as it gathers between the pressing plates and the hinge. So pressing yardage might be a bit cumbersome.

The unit will shut off automatically if the pressing plate has been left closed for longer than 10 seconds. It makes a loud beeping sound. It will also stop if the pressing plate is in the raised position for 15 minutes.

I wait for the machine to cool, then close and lock the lid. The unit is fairly large and takes up a lot of space on my counter. But since I interface in batches, I simply close up the press and store it under my counter. It’s heavy, but does not take up a lot of room.

I would recommend this steam press, especially if you do a lot of interfacing. It reduces the process time and improves the quality of the bond.

If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments and I will address them.