Tany's Blog the other day and I noticed that she had a large self healing mat and used it religiously. I admire her advanced sewing skills (she's an expert in her own right), I felt inspired to get one of my own.
Now I actually didn't do any extensive research on buying a larger size self healing mat. I knew they were pretty pricy anyways so I stopped looking for a while. I do own a smaller size olfa mat--the 24"X36" and use it every once in a while for smaller jobs. Well while in JoAnn's yesterday I spotted the 35" X 70" Olfa self healing cutting mat. They're remodeling my Jo-Ann's so this was a new item they'd gotten in. It was exactly what I was looking for.
(Various pattern drafting rulers from Fairgate (one's not pictured and somewhere in my sewing room). I bought this set a couple of years ago for when I tinker with pattern drafting. There's a ruler for any curve I may need to cut with my rotary cutter.)
When I did some further research on product reviews I noticed everyone for the most part loved their mat but complained about the awful smell it produced. Some people have compared the smell to that of a skunk. And true enough, after leaving it downstairs for several hours it managed to stink up the area. So I put them in the garage to air out, as some reviewers suggested. I also plan to do as Olfa suggests and wipe them down with a 1:1 mixture of white vinegar and water. I hope this works. I was shocked that this was a huge problem but when you think about it, it makes since. Here's what some ladies at Pattern Review had to say about it http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/sewingclasses/board.pl?t=27699&pn=1.
Well, whatever they coat this mat in makes it durable but also really stinky.I've read that most self healing mats have some smell to them. Some mats are just more then others. Do any of you have one of these mats? Did you notice the smell? Were you able to get rid of the smell? Just curious. I haven't used mine yet but before I do I probably should make sure that I can get rid of the smell. I appreciate any helpful info you can provide.
5/7/11 Update: I should have posted this update alot sooner. Soon after calling the Olfa rep helped lots. She suggested I soak my mat in warm weather and add a little lemon dishwashing lemon. A couple of overnight soaks in the tub helped alleviate that smell!
BTW, I'm currently wrapping up my latest project. Here it is, pattern and fabric. I hope to review it tomorrow since I'll be spending the rest of the day taking my little one to a friend's bday party. At the moment this could very well be a great project or a wadder in the making. I'm not sure yet but hey I'm willing to take the risk. We shall see....