Cutting mats are used in many craft applications including quilting, card making and other crafts where precision cutting is essential. In addition, they are invaluable for safeguarding your table or work surface when you are busy with your craft knife, scissors or other cutting implements. At Spotlight, choose from a wide range of cutting mats in various sizes and materials. Most cutting mats have grids to help you determine precise distances, while others have helpful lines at angles for cutting intricate shapes. Trim and score boards are also included in the range.
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How To Choose A Self-Healing Cutting Mat For Crafting?
Self-healing cutting mats are popular for most papercrafts, but they have some applications in other crafts too. Of course, if you are not familiar with self-healing cutting mats, you might not know what you are looking for. If you want to make sure you are purchasing the right cutting mat for your needs, check out our recommendations for crafters below.
Which Self-Healing Cutting Mats Are Available And When Should I Use Them?
Cutting mats fulfil several functions. Firstly, they will protect your work surface against the blades of rotary cutters and craft knives. Secondly, they also increase the lifespan of your craft knife or rotary cutter, as the mat will protect the blades and prevent premature wear and tear.
There are two types of cutting mats you can use:
Hard cutting mats - As the name suggests, this type of cutting mat is quite stiff and durable. Because of its hardness, the cutting knife does not actually go into the mat. As such, these kinds of mats can last for a considerable amount of time.
Self-healing cutting mats - Compared to the hard mats, self-healing cutting mats are incredibly flexible. They are usually protected by an additional vinyl layer on the top, or they are completely made from a PVC material.
One of the benefits of the self-healing cutting mats is that the cuts made in the mat heal themselves. Therefore, this type of mat still has lots of durability despite being more flexible than the hard mat.
Which Size Cutting Mat Should I Obtain?
The size of cutting mat a crafter requires can be quite variable - this because you have to consider variable factors such as the available workspace and the crafting project you are working on. The equipment you work with can also have an influence on the size cutting mat you should obtain. For example, if you are using a rotary cutter, we usually recommend the full-size mat.
Which Thickness Should I Choose For My Cutting Mat?
The thickness of cutting mats can be variable too. In general, you can obtain cutting mats with a thickness between two and seven millimetres. Evidently, the thinner mats are more suitable for rotary mats, while straight knives are better combined with the thicker cutting mats.
When you want the most durable cutting mat, it is usually best to go for a thicker version. If you choose a cutting mat that is too thin, you might go through the entire mat with a good blade. So, if you are willing to make the investment, choose one of the thicker models for added durability.
Which Knives Can I Use On Cutting Mats?
There are a variety of knives you can use on cutting mats. In most cases, you can use a rotary cutter or a straight craft knife. With this, we must mention that the sharpness of the blade is important for self-healing mats. The sharper the blade, the better your self-healing mat will 'heal'.
What Is The Average Lifespan Of Cutting Mats?
Even if you purchase a self-healing mat, all cutting mats have a limited lifespan. Buying a cutting mat of high quality will certainly contribute to more durability and an increased life. Of course, the overall lifespan of your cutting mat is also subject to other factors - this includes the sharpness of the blades, knife types used on the cutting mat, the material you are cutting on a regular basis, and the overall pressure you use.
As we have mentioned earlier, the sharpness of rotary cutters and your craft knives is important to increase the lifespan of your cutting mat. So, if your craft knives are becoming blunt, it is certainly recommended to sharpen them.
How Should I Store My Cutting Mats?
To maximise the lifespan of your cutting mat, it is also recommended to store your cutting mat in the right location. If you buy a cutting mat that is made from PVC for example, you cannot store your cutting mat in a location that is susceptible to heat. To avoid any cracks or damage to your cutting mat, always store it in a cool and dry room. Also, never roll up your cutting mat when you store it away, as this could cause problems with the shape of your mat down the line.