Home: Laundry: Ironing
Fabric-Scope Iron   (+8, -7)  [vote for, against]
Iron Detects Fabric Type and Sets Itself

I wrote an annotation to an RFID-tag iron idea, then decided to bring this out as an idea. //How about if the iron's optics look so closely at the fabric that the iron recognizes it and adjusts the temperature accordingly?// Perhaps I should have been clearer.

Fabrics can be distinguished from one another by examining the fibers under a microscope. Wool is scaley, synthetics are smooth, cotton is . . .

An iron with a microscope lens and pattern recognition software set could tell the type of fabric it was looking at, simply by the shape of the fibers.

At a larger scale, it could also distinguish the weave of the fabric. Knits, double-knits, weaves, et c.

The information is used in an attached micro-processor to set the temperature of the iron.
-- baconbrain, Aug 03 2005

Self-setting Iron Self-setting_20iron
The RFID/barcode tag inspiration for this idea. [baconbrain, Aug 03 2005]

Various Fibres http://www.rugreview.com/or83b5.jpg
(Left) Ill. 4. From Mathews, p. 13, Figure 5. Various Fibres A. Chinese wool, B. Merino wool, C. cotton, D. silk, E. Mohair. (Right) Ill. 5. From Hart, p. 16, Figure 5. Contrast between Crimp and Waviness. A - XX Wool; B - 1/4 Blood Wool; C - Mohair [baconbrain, Aug 07 2005]

Not sure about the practicality of this but I admire the concept. [+]
-- hidden truths, Aug 03 2005

There are so many different fabric blends and such out there, I worry that your Iron's fuzzy logic would be too fuzzy.
-- daseva, Aug 03 2005

I'd worry about blends or garments with panels of fabric, but maybe I'm just jealous.
-- phoenix, Aug 04 2005

How about sampling the smoke billowing out from the cloth with sniffers built into the iron, analyzing it and using that info to determine what the optimum temperature should have been for that particular kind of material?

Of course an iron such as this would be a fire hazard but that could be easily remedied by having a built in feature that calls the fire department as soon as you plug it in.
-- doctorremulac3, Aug 05 2005

sometimes an *idea* just warrants being an anno on a previous idea. <hint>

this is magic as far as I can make out.

I'd bet money that bb has no idea which cupboard in his place houses the iron and has never ever attempted to use said appliance.
-- po, Aug 05 2005

I knows how to work an awrn. I uses it to cook bacon.
-- moPuddin, Aug 06 2005

I originally put this as an annotation in the idea that inspired it, and it didn't seem to fit in the discussion. I feel it is a departure from the RFID/barcode idea, and posted it with due credit to the inspiration.

It isn't magic to me, just technology that I personally could not implement. But I have read about all the components, and think this could be done, probably, someday soon. It's halfbaked, so to speak.

I just added a link to an image of fiber types under a microscope.

[Po], I have an idea that no cupboard in this tent is housing an iron. I can iron clothes, and do my own ironing when needed. I don't do so often, as I have found that careful drying of wrinkle-resistant fabrics produces results acceptable to me. The last iron I bought I used for waxing my cross-country skis. Which has nothing to do with this idea.
-- baconbrain, Aug 07 2005

this isn't magic, I think it could be done +
-- dentworth, Aug 07 2005

not before you get a bloody great brown iron-shape burn in the middle of the garment.

one of my least favourite jobs is scraping burnt crud from the bottom of the iron.
-- po, Aug 07 2005

Then the iron could move across the fabric itself! Sounds like something in a Mickey Mouse cartoon.
-- tboyz007, Aug 08 2005

random, halfbakery