Saturday, July 5, 2014

What is a Self Healing Cutting Mat

The success of creative and technical projects is largely dependent on the use of quality tools. Self healing cutting mats are used by people who require a protective work surface and exact measurements. They are fundamental equipment for studios and should be selected according to their purpose.

A self healing mat will last longer than one with a hard, rigid surface. Sharp rotary or straight blades will slice cleanly through most materials without leaving rough edges or catching fibers in the mat, and the self-healing nature of the mat's surface also prevents damage to the edge of the cutting tool.

Visible and accurate measurement lines are important for most uses, but dressmakers and artists sometimes prefer a distraction-free surface. A neutral hue, like gray or medium green, is practical for work with all printed and solid colors. Top-quality mats will have smooth edges, blunted corners and a hole or handle for hanging storage. They should be stored flat; rolling mats or storing them in extreme temperatures may cause them to become warped or brittle. With proper care, a Self Healing Cutting Mat will last indefinitely.

Serious craftsmen may have several mats. A large mat that covers the entire surface of the drafting or cutting table allows them to lay out a roll of paper or bolt of fabric for efficient work. This mat should be heavy enough to stay in place or secured to the table. In addition to horizontal and vertical marking lines, it usually has guidelines for arcs and angles.

Smaller mats are practical for hobbyists or use outside the studio. They are lighter in weight and more flexible than tabletop mats because they receive more handling, but they have the same basic qualities as the industrial mats. Domestic uses include sewing, model building and other crafts. Quilters use rotary cutters and acrylic rulers to measure and cut fabrics with the high level of accuracy necessary for sewing quilts.

Self-healing cutting mats are available in a variety of sizes, colors and shapes with markings appropriate to their function.

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