No, not that lamp that turns itself on or off when you clap your hands. This is a gadget that you probably know about, but somehow I didn’t, despite the fact that I have been sewing and pressing like mad as a quilter for 25 years.
The tailor’s clapper! It’s my new favorite thing!
A tailor’s clapper is a wooden implement that is unfinished on the bottom. “Clapping” it over a freshly steamed seam will give an extra press and also absorb the moisture, so that seam lies very flat and crisp.
After I first heard about it, I was making a label for a new quilt. I always add strips around the sides to make a frame, then turn under the edges so that I can easily blind-stitch the label to the backing. These turned-under edges do NOT want to stay. I looked around my studio to see if I had anything that I could pretend was a clapper, and spied a wooden pencil box. Sure enough, even though the wood was varnished, it worked! The edges of that label stayed turned!! So exciting! (Sometimes it’s the little things.)
I got on Etsy and looked for a real clapper. I found one easily at Jackson Woodworks and ordered the small one, in oak.
Then came the acid test… the label situation. I sewed up a couple of blank, pseudo-labels for the test.
Which one do you think is “with clapper” and which one “no clapper?”
That’s right, the upper one was pressed just the way I have always done it, no clapper. The lower one was clappered. Another question… which one do you think you’d like to work with more? :)
And BTW… no clapping required. I did not clap the clapper down, just pressed it down as soon as I removed the iron. Easy peasy! I am now probably addicted to using the clapper and won’t be able to press a seam without it.