The Quilter's Guide to a Happy Cutting Mat

We often hear about the Do's and Don'ts when it comes to cutting your fabric and storing it but we tend to  forget to take care of our most essential tool, our cutting mats.

It is one of the first purchases we make as a novice quilter (and crafter) and we're very eager to get cutting and chopping on our brand new mat, as we should but! To get the most out of our mats, and for them to live a long and happy life in your sewing room, there are a few things we can do to keep them happy.

We've brought in our very own cutting mat, Matilda, to explain and give us her top tips that have proven to keep her happy!

Never keep us bent for a prolonged period of time...
Storing us rolled up or standing on an edge can cause cracks on our surfaces. Rather keep us on a flat surface or hanging as shown in the pictures below. 
We do NOT like heat!
Please do not put any hot beverages on us, iron on us, or keep us in direct sunlight. This will cause us to warp and create HUGE inaccuracies when you cut.
Variety is the spice of life...
Vary where you cut on us. Repeatedly cutting on the same line will cause deep grooves that even your self healing mat won't recover from! 

By simply following Matilda's tips and tricks, your cutting mat will last you many happy cutting sessions! 

Thanks Matilda, we'll take it from here. ;)

Did you know, that all self healing cutting mats need moisturizing? Well now you do!

This can be done by simple taking a very wet cloth and gently rubbing it over your mat when you're done cutting. Making this a habit will keep your mat looking and feeling brand new!

Your self healing cutting mat should also, wait for it, be bathed! This gets all those extra fluffies out, heals up shallow and deep cuts and keeps your board supple and flexible. All you need to do is follow the steps below!

Step 1.
Take an eraser or a soft toothbrush and GENTLY rub all the fluffies and threads out of your mat. You do not want to scratch your board.

Once the mat is clean, it is bath time! This involves soaking your matt in a vinegar and water solution. Ideally, your mat should lie flat while soaking. However, if it cannot, you may need to reposition it gently from time to time.

Step 2.
Use a cup of white vinegar to 4 litres of COOL water (increase the ratio if needed). Let it soak for 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 3.
Add a small amount of mild detergent such as Woolite, use a SOFT brush or cloth and wash the mat gently.

In the process of cleaning your mat, you moisturize it as well. This will also prolong the life span of your rotary blades as they will not be cutting on such a hard surface.

Step 4.
Once your mat is done soaking you can rinse it with cool water to remove all residue.

Step 5.
Dry the mat with a soft towel or let it air dry (we find this the best choice). Make sure whilst it is drying it is on a flat surface with NO direct sunlight or heat.


We all know that when we buy our cutting matts, they are an investment. So make your investment last! 

Regards in Stitches

A Pin Cushion Gal 


1 comment

  • Thank u for this very useful information look forward to reading more fm u

    Pat Schneider

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