Pfaff PB3530 ironing system

Update July 2014: I ended up selling this ironing system as we never really bonded (see my review below). Hopefully the new owner will be happier than I was.

My lovely hubby gave me money to buy a proper pressing station for my birthday, and after much deliberation I chose the Pfaff  PB3035.

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With this system I got a semi-professional pressing iron and an ironing board with blow and suction capabilities run by a foot pedal. The foot pedal was what sold me on this system in the end,  as none of the other boards I read about seemed to have this feature. The board also heats up and can blow steam, as do the pressing iron. There’s an info-mercial on this system here.

There aren’t many reviews out there for this particular ironing system, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on it here.

At school we have several professional ironing tables with powerful suction and blow functions that work with several pressing accessories. I guess I’m easily spoiled: My former pressing tools consisted of an ageing iron and a bad ironing board, and I became quite obsessed with the thought of having a semi-professional pressing system at home.

The Pfaff PB3550 arrived by mail, and when I first got it, I’ll admit I wasn’t too thrilled – it wasn’t nearly as strong as the professional equipment at school. (I admit my conscience wasn’t too clear as this was a gift from the person most dear to me after all.) I couldn’t get the iron to do exactly what I wanted it to do, and I was not prepared for the fumes emanating from the table. I also didn’t know that the table heated up, and I tell you it’s hot! On the bright side, the package told me it’s made in Italy, which I think is great as so many other appliances are currently Asian made (this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I prefer the shorter travel from Italy).

I tested my ironing system out ironing a couple of skirts and trying the vertical steaming of a shirt. The skirts were fine, but this iron does not make a good vertical steamer IMO. As I got to use it as a pressing tool when making my red dress, I got better results, luckily. Still, I have an allergic reaction to the fumes, which sadly haven’t lessened in the time I’ve used the system, I do think the heated board makes it too hot to work at for any length of time, and the iron itself could have been better. However this system beats the crap out of my previous ironing arrangements.

The foot pedal is great, as I don’t have to push a button every time I want the board to do something, but the suction is just not as strong as I’d expected after watching the aforementioned info-mercial. Also, the hot board makes it difficult to cool the fabric down after steam pressing it, which in turn may lead to distortions and creases…

The pressing iron itself isn’t the strongest one on the market. It’s much better than a non-steam iron, but I still think you can buy better steam-irons in almost shop that stocks any electrical appliances. I think the “semi-professional” label on the iron refers to the stainless steel finish on this one – it’s certainly built as a professional iron – but the piece lacks the power of a true professional tool.

The good:

  • A big and sturdy, yet collapsible ironing board that doesn’t leave impressions in your pressed garments
  • A proper steam iron
  • Suction and blow functions
  • So far no leakage isn’t detected on the system
  • A teflon shoe for the iron is included in the package
  • Easy to use
  • Not too loud (though it definitely makes some sound)
  • The foot pedal that operates the blow/suction function
  • It’s good as far as “all-in-one” deals go – you get what you need to do decent pressing during sewing – a steam iron and a good board with additional suction/blow function.

The bad:

  • The smell/fumes emanating from the table when it’s used – this is not a toy for anyone suffering from allergies
  • The steam iron could certainly have been better – I’ve used steam irons for home use only that are better than this
  • Especially the suction function is not nearly as strong as it ought to be
  • The table gets really hot – too hot IMO
  • For the same price I could get a great steam iron and a decent ironing board

So far, I’m giving this system a try and hope that it grows on me. It’s not a bad product, and I’m certain many people would be just thrilled by the features of the system. Perhaps it’s like a new sewing machine – I’ve heard people refusing to use a machine which they haven’t bonded with – hopefully me and the Pfaff PB3035 will be peas and carrots sometime in the near future 🙂

If I’d had the chance to test this (or any other ironing system) in a store before buying, I’m not sure if I’d gotten this piece in the end, as I think I would have been better off just buying a better steam iron and a new ironing board. The main problem with this all in one system is that neither iron nor board are very good. Not bad, certainly, but I find both lacking something in the execution of their functions.

That’s my experience with the Pfaff PB3035 ironing system so far. I’ll  update this post if I have anything to add in the future. If you’re looking for an upgrade on your pressing tools, I’d recommend buying a good steam iron and then find a not too crappy board to go with it, rather than buying an all in one system.

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