CB21-097 - What you need to know about heat resistant craft or cutting mats

What you need to know about heat resistant craft or cutting mats

What do you need to know about heat resistant craft or cutting mats?

Glass, silicone, and teflon craft mats are typically the best for heat resistant properties. Other mats may warp, melt, or transfer heat when exposed to hot tools or beverages. You can find out how heat resistant your mat is by contacting the manufacturer, inspecting the package, or looking at product pages.

As a crafter, you’re most likely going to be using hot tools or enjoying a hot beverage. You need to make sure the heat isn’t going to ruin your mat.

Craft mats can last a long time if taken care of properly.

Luckily for you, I’ll show you which mats are more heat resistant. I’ll show you how to make sure you’re using the right mat for the job. You’ll be on your way to crafting with hot tools in no time.

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Are All Craft Mats Heat Resistant?

Not all craft mats are heat resistant. Most will have some heat tolerance, but they may melt if you put a hot tool on them.

It is important to realize this if you work with tools like irons, glue guns, or soldering irons. Putting one of these on an unsuitable mat could be destructive and dangerous.

Many cutting mats, such as self-healing mats, are made from plastic. They are made up of multiple pieces of plastic that form a flat surface but are not bonded together.

The design allows the mats to “self-heal,” because the surface has memory retention properties. When you cut on the mat, your knife will push the material apart rather than cut it.

The ability to self-heal is useful because the mat doesn’t get damaged, and the blade does not get blunted. However, it does not usually offer a heat-resistant surface. The plastic may melt if it is exposed to a lot of heat.

Excessive heat will ruin the surface of the mat and fuse the pieces of plastic into one. The surface will not self-heal in the future and may blunt your knife’s blades.

Furthermore, it can be an issue if you place a glue gun on the mat and glue spills onto it. The glue will not easily come off the plastic pieces that make up the mat. Instead, it will form a bond that spoils the self-healing properties.

Therefore, it is important to make sure that you are using a suitable heat mat when handling hot tools. Your mat should be resistant to spills and able to withstand high temperatures.

You may find it helps to buy one specifically designed for the tool you are using. For example, a heat press may require a specific mat to be used safely.

What Kinds Of Mats Are More Heat Resistant?

There are quite a few materials that are more suitable for high temperatures than plastic. Glass, teflon, and silicone mats are more heat resistant. In most cases, the packaging on the mat will let you know if the mat is heat resistant.

Glass Craft Mats

Many people like glass craft mats, which are easy to clean, durable, and heat resistant. They can be used for heat embossing and heat-activated foil. You can rest a glue gun on them, and the glue will easily peel off once it is cool. Overall, they offer excellent heat resistance.

However, they will not serve as cutting mats. Although many are scratch-resistant, you cannot use them for cutting on, as they will quickly become marked. Choose a different option and reserve your glass one for your hot tools if you need a cutting mat.

Teflon Craft Mats

You may also have seen the flat, flexible craft mats designed to withstand heat. These are paper-thin and often made from Teflon or another heat-resistant substance.

If you set a teflon mat on a surface, you can put items as hot as irons on it. Teflon mats are often used for iron-on transfers. They are also non-stick, so you can use them for doling out paint and glue.

Check the heat resistance before using one of these for any tools hotter than an iron. Although heat-resistant, they may be damaged by more intense tools.

Unfortunately, teflon mats are also not suitable for cutting on. They are very thin, so they will not provide a stable surface for the knife.

Furthermore, the knife will damage or even cut through them. This could ruin the surface underneath, as well as the mat.

Silicone Craft Mats

You may find a silicone craft mat is suitable for some hot tools, like glue guns. These are flexible and usually inexpensive. They are good for cleanup because glue and paint will not stick to them.

Before using a silicone craft mat for hot tools, you should check the heat rating. Many are suitable for intense heat, such as soldering, but it is best to be cautious before purchasing one. 

Please do not use one without ensuring it will withstand the heat of your tools. Unless your silicone mat says otherwise, please do not use it for cutting.

How Heat-Resistant Is My Craft Mat?

You will need to contact the manufacturers to determine how heat-resistant your craft mat is. However, materials like glass and Teflon are generally better than plastic. Most self-healing cutting mats are not designed to withstand a lot of heat.

If you use a glue gun or any other hot item, you need to make sure your craft mat is suitable. Thicker mats are usually more heat resistant and will better protect your surfaces. They will also last longer.

Choose a heavy-duty industrial cutting mat if you regularly work with heat or with very hot tools. Avoid placing hot tools or beverages on a cutting mat unless you know it can withstand the temperature. The mat may melt or warp if it gets too warm.

If you regularly iron in your craft room, consider getting a dedicated ironing board or an ironing blanket. This will save your craft mat from undue wear and tear.

Summary: What you need to know about heat resistant craft or cutting mats

It is essential to determine whether your craft mat is heat resistant or not. In general, a mat will be used for either heat resistance or cutting, rather than both. Make sure you are adequately protecting your surfaces and being safe. Don’t use a standard cutting mat for hot crafts; it will get damaged.

Some of the best heat resistant craft mats include:

  • Glass
  • Teflon
  • Silicone

You can typically find out how heat resistant a mat is by contacting the manufacturer. Product pages online may indicate how heat resistant a mat may be.