Choose your tailors ham(s)
But which shape of tailors ham is best?There are a few criteria you can use to make the correct choice.
- Shape of the tailors ham
- Size of the tailors ham
- Choose one with or without foot
- Space in your sewing room
- Cork or straw filling in the tailors ham
Shape of the tailors hamThe shape of the ham is important. Some tailors hams are straight and others have a lot of curves. And which shape is the best? Ladies with a larger size often have a bigger bosom and more curves than ladies with a smaller dress size. For plus size fashion we recommend a pear or body shaped tailors ham on a foot. The advantage of this one is the great curves it possesses and the the top of the pear (where the stalk wood be) is narrower than the bottom where you would find the pears crown. Therefore it’s an allround tailors ham on foot, especially for round seams. Will you use the ham mainly for straight seams, try the straight tailors ham on foot. That one is about 73cm long and 23cm wide. A good go between is the bean or kidney shaped and the oval or egg shaped tailors ham. Where the egg has only outward curves the kidneyshape has inward curves as well. Wether you use that is up to you. Are you not sure? The bean has outward curves as well so that one provides more possibilities. These two large tailors hams are available with a foot and without a foot.
Size of the tailors hamWhich shape is the best? That depends on what kind of clothing you make and the dress size of these items. If you sew a lot of plus size clothing a larger ham is indispensable. With a small one you have to move the fabric a lot. The more you have to move it, the longer it takes before you are done! Is your dress size smal and do you make a lot of clothing for yourself? Choose a smaller tailors ham.
An example of the different sizes:
Tailors ham bean smallThis is the small beanshaped tailors ham without foot. It is approximately 48cm long and 25cm wide. 48cm has been measured from left to right on the picture and the 25cm is the thickest part of the kidney shaped ham from the top to the bottom
Tailors ham bean shaped standard sizeThis one is the middle size of the beans and it measures about 62x32cm. 62cm is again from left to right and 32cm over the thick part from top to bottom.
Tailors ham bean shaped maxiThe largest of the bean shaped hams is this one measuring at approx. 65x36cm. Again 65cm from left to right and 36cm over the thickest part…
Should I choose one with or without foot?The advantage of the ham on a foot are mainly stability. It stand on the surface firmly. It is higher than a normal ham. So please check if it is handy to have the extra height on the ironing board. Most ironing boards are adjustable but let’s be real: you do not want to adjust it every time. What does work is using the table you usually sit behind shen you sew. The height of that table with the ham on it is about the same as the cutting table. (where you stand to cut fabrics) A tailors ham without a foot has the advantage that you can insert it inside the garment. The hand tailors ham is used in sleeve heads for example. That would not work if it has a foot!
Space in the sewing roomIs your sewing room small you might want to buy a smaller ham. The tailors ham on foot are higher and take in more storage space. And where you store them has influence as well. If you have a bare piece of wall you can hang the ham on foot on a hook in the wall. A tailors ham without a foot cannot be hung in this manor. Do you store your ironing tools in a cupboard a ham without foot is easier to get in there.
Straw or cork filling in your tailors hamIn every tailors ham there is a kind of straw or grass. In the professional tailors hams there are a number that have a cork layer at the outside just under the linen. The cork layer prevents moisture build up when using steam for a prolonged period of time. In extreme cases it prevents mold from forming. The cork can more easily regulate the moisture than straw or grass. Do you use the ham infrequently? The straw filled hams are fine. If you use it daily you might want to consider buying one with a cork layer… A very old ham sometimes had pulverised filling, when that happens it is time to replace it. This usually happens when they are really old, like the ham grandpa used when he was a tailor…
A collection tailors hamsMost tailors will own a numer of tailors hams. At least a hand ham and a large one. When buying your first pressing tools a hand tailors ham and a seam roll are the perfect tools for a beginner. You can always invest in a large tailors ham when you get better.
In short: which shape of tailors ham is the best? That depends what you do with it, think about it and choose what you think will be best for you.