Monday, June 21, 2010

A Friend Has a Question

Dear readers, I need your help.  My friend Becky is having a problem with her Fiskars cutting mat. 

In her words, "It keeps 'trails' where I've used the rotary cutter. I was wondering if you've had this problem, and how you've dealt with it."

Anybody have any comments or suggestions for Becky?  I have an older cutting mat that isn't "self-healing" that I've had for years without this trouble.



shannon said...

hey lynne! you didn't mention how old the mat is....but when mine did this i was told that it was 'old' and it was time to buy a new one...something about the 'self healing' chemical dries out/evaporates over time

hope this helps

Emma said...

Mine's starting to do this too, but the trails so far haven't given me any issues with cutting. They've only appeared so far in two areas where I was cutting strips in the exact same places. Until they start bothering me I'm still going to use the same mat. :) I'm cheap that way...

Sherry said...

I don't know if this will help but my quilt shop had this thing (the best way to call it) you wrip it over the mat and I is to clean and your mat will last longer. Thats what they say.

Mishkat said...

I had this problem when I used a non-brand name blade in my rotary cutter (I bought the blades from Hancock's of Paducah, and they cut really well, but I think they were too sharp for the mat.) If the "trails" are not causing a problem with cutting, I don't think it's a problem. On my mat, they became so deep that the cutter skip threads at those particular spot, which was a real pain. I solved it by buying a new mat (not very helpful, I know, but I had had the other one for over 10 years) but I think you can just turn the mat over too. There is also a product which removes these grooves but it looks a bit like glorified sandpaper to me.

(in)Sain Adventures said...

Thanks for the ideas ladies!!

The mat is relatively new (within the past 4 years), and I don't use it all of the time. The biggest "offenders" are terry cloth and flannel.


scraphappy said...

If I don't need the marked cutting lines, I try to use the back of my mat as well as the front. I also try not to always cut on exactly the same lines to avoid wearing out the same spot.

pwl said...

I'm getting "trails" in mine now as well, but in my case it's because I've been pressing a bit harder because my blade either need sharpening or should be replaced.

I seem to recall reading or hearing about using an eraser to help clean my mat, and I'm going to try that.

I have seen an extreme case where the mat was so scored from cutting that as someone else mentioned, threads were left behind when cutting across the lines.

Rachel said...

It's the extra fluffy stuff that does it, it basically gets in the slit before it can heal up, I get the same when I cut batting. There is nothing wrong with the mat, all self healing mats will do this with these materials, you can get the trails away by rubbing them with a tooth brush or gum eraser or something.

Hope that helps!

VeeV said...

I have a lint roller beside my cutting station and periodically i "roll" the whole mat to clean it up.

works like a charm..


KQ Sue said...

Rub the mat with a scrubby. Then after the fuzzies are gone, rub the mat with a hard smooth surface. Use a darning egg or wrong end of a hara tool.