If you’re a keen crafter or hobbyist working at home on your kitchen or dining table, you’re probably looking for an effective way to protect your surfaces from damage due to cutting. If you regularly use blades while sewing, making models or doing papercraft, you will almost certainly, from time to time, have experienced moments where the scissors or knife slip, and the risk of scoring your tabletop is high. If you’re using a rotary cutter, there’s an even greater chance of damaging your furniture. A self-healing cutting mat could be the solution that you’ve been looking for.
So, how do these mats work, and how could they keep your surfaces safe? Read on to find out more.
These mats are known as “self-healing” because no mark is left in the mat even after cutting it with a blade. Thanks to the unique materials used to produce these mats, the groove left by the blade automatically closes up leaving no visible marks.
Self-healing mats are manufactured from separate tiny pieces of material which are pressed together creating a solid surface to cut on. Whatever type of cutting implement you use on this mat, the blade will go between these tiny pieces. This separates them rather than cutting into the entire unit of the surface. Once the cut has been made, the memory-retaining properties of the surface allow it to close back together again.
We’ve already said that self-healing cutting mats are ideal for keen hobbyists who regularly use cutting tools at home. However, they have many other applications too. They are often used by packaging companies or by printing and graphics firms on their business premises.
One of the greatest advantages of using a self-healing cutting mat is that not only will it protect surfaces from damage, but it will also prevent inaccurate cutting from taking place. If you use a regular mat to cut on, grooves will be formed that the blade will fall into the next time the mat is used. This would cause inaccurate cuts to take place. With a self-healing mat, however, those grooves close up so you can cut accurately over and over again.
Although self-healing cutting mats work with a wide range of blades including rotary cutters and craft knives, it’s important to note that the blade must be sharp to avoid slicing through the mat. Dull blades can’t make a precise or thin cut and therefore the groove produced may not be able to close up fully. It’s also important to use your cutter or knife at an angle of 90 degrees when cutting on the self-healing mat to avoid cutting the material of the mat rather than separating its tiny pieces which would leave a lasting groove in its surface.
If you’re ready to buy your first self-healing cutting mat, we have a range of styles and sizes available here at First Mats.
Please see our Self Healing Cutting Mats range for more information, or contact a member of our team for advice.