Does Anyone Have a Rotary Cutting Mat?
I am thinking about purchasing a rotary cutting mat, specifically the Gingher self-healing rotary cutting mat. Can anyone give me any info on this or the benefits of cutting mats? Also, can I use this mat to pin fabric too?
Thanks for your help.
- Diane B.Lv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
I agree with everyone else about self-healing mats... they're great! They allow one to make much more precise straight cuts, and much quicker than normal too. Many non-straight cuts will work well too.
Be sure to use a *thick* acrylic ruler when using self-healing mats if you don't want to cut yourself....metal rulers are okay too for some things if they're made taller by a layer of cork on the back, etc.
I have several myself, from very large ones that stay on my work surface, to smaller ones (that I've cut myself from larger ones or bought to do individual cuts)-- I'll use those smaller ones when I'll want to be able to rotate the item so I can more easily cut on opposite sides without having to move the item (just move the mat).
I use them primarily for fabric (using a rotary cutter), but I also use them for any time I need to cut paper, etc., with an Xacto type knife.
The green Olfa brand cutting mats were the original ones for fabric (engineers and graphics drafters had self-healing mats before that for use with Xacto and similar blades), and I still like Olfa best. They're all supposed to be self-healing (relatively-speaking anyway) and dull blades less than using most other surfaces, but some may not heal quite as well.
I do also use my self-healing mats for pinning, but not for putting pins into the mat (like a corkboard). I'll use one instead when I'm pinning or safety-pinning borders onto quilt tops, or pinning all the parts of a quilt sandwich together in spots so I can "tie" the quilt. That way I don't have to worry about scratching the surface below.
One other warning about warping. Wherever you store your mat(s), always keep them on a perfectly flat surface-- otherwise they will warp. This happens quicker if there's *heat* too (in the trunk of your car during summer, for example, when not laid on something perfectly flat), but also at regular temperatures (if standing on end, for example, even in a fairly narrow area).
As mentioned, since the mats are expensive you'll want to use a coupon if possible (Michaels 40% one item in the saturday-sunday paper, or Joanns, etc.).
Have fun !
- h_bridaLv 61 decade ago
No, you can't pin to self-healing cutting mats. One uses weights and tries to be careful.
Your could just use a scrap paper pad, but the advantages of a self-healing mat are:
1) Piles of paper scrap (and possible ink problems) are avoided.
2) The self-healing mat doesn't dull the rotary blades as quickly as cutting on scrap paper does.
3) The mat also protects the surface under the mat.
4) Some mats are also printed with helpful grids.
I have a 3' x 5' mat stored under the tablecloth on my dining table. I have 4" square mat for wee work a mat about 14" x 20" in a carry-along tote.
If you're rich, get the largest mat you'll use and one or more smaller ones if they'll be used regularly. Regular folk get the largest they'll use *regularly* and can afford (VISA, months to pay and then there's the interest too). I picked my huge one up at an Estate sale. The rest were with 40%-off coupons at Michael's or Joann's.
- 1 decade ago
I have a rotary cutter and mat and love it! Your cuts are so much more accurate and smooth. And it's faster than scissors. You can't pin to it- you can't cut through it so you can't really pierce it with anything sharp. I have olfa brand stuff, but I don't think there is much difference between brands, you just want the self healing kind and keep it out of the heat (don't leave it the car or iron on it) or it will warp and be ruined. Get the largest one you can afford, it will worth it when you have to make longer cuts, otherwise you will have to keep re-adjusting the fabric to fit on the mat. Also, invest in a nice long acrylic ruler (you'll find them next to the mats)-you'll want the thick acrylic kind because the rotary blade will cut through wooden rulers and some of the cheap plastic ones.
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- ?Lv 71 decade ago
Actually I own 6. My mats range in size 60 in. long down to 12 inches. 1 mat, From Nancy's Notions is reversible. I side for cutting and one for pinning. Uses for mat and cutter, fabric, paper (separate cutter, paper dulls the blade.
My personal preference is those made by Dritz. They are Blue with yellow markings. Much easier to read for my old eyes.
- KackyLv 71 decade ago
My cutting mat stays on the work table at all times because I use the measurements and the straight lines even when I am not cutting on it. I don't pin on it.