How to Fix a Warped Cutting Mat

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NSC Question

Help! My cutting mat is buckled up and warped on one side now when it got accidentally too close to some heat. I paid $50 for this mat. I laid some heavy old machines on it for days to see if it would force the mat to return to its original flat surface, but no go. What should I do?

Submitted by Anna

NSC Answer

Oh no! Not what you want to have happen to your expensive cutting mats! But I think there is a solution here – this might seem counter-intuitive but one way to get a mat to lay flat again is to add back a little heat. This will soften it down and then you can try setting something heavy on it to get it to retain its flat surface. I’m not sure where you live, but if you are in a sunny area you can lay the mat out on a porch or deck to warm for an afternoon and then stack something heavy on it to get it to lay flat again.

Good luck!


Related links:

All About Cutting Mats

How to Care for Cutting Mats (links to our sister site, National Quilters Circle)

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Reply to Ginny Cole
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36 Responses to “How to Fix a Warped Cutting Mat”

  1. Rosalyn Schultze

    You might also try submerging your mat in very hot water (in the bathtub). Leave it in the tub to soften, then take it out and place some bricks or very heavy books (wrapped in plastic) on it and let it cool. If you have a tile floor in your bathroom, place it there. Dry it off after it flattens. It may need more than one dunking in very hot water.

    • LeAnn

      I had the best luck (by accident). I left the mat in my car one warm, sunny day and it flattened out beautifully. No work and the cutting mat is as flat as new!

  2. Dora

    I looked online and found this: use your iron! Yes – your iron! Heat up the mat with a protective presscloth then lay it on a flat surface with books weighting it down. Leave it for at least 12 hours or so. It worked and my mat looks great.

  3. Cherie

    I tried that on mine – but it didn’t help – though maybe I didn’t heat it enough. Maybe putting it in very hot water might be safer than ironing over it again. It would be easier to control the heat I think. Fortunately I already had an extra mat that I found at a yard sale. ($4 !!!)

  4. Jo McBee

    I have also warped my mat and also tried to flatten it out no luck but thanku for advice to try heat again . Was wondering what I could do hope this will work as I don’t want to purchase new mat. Thanks again !

    • Customer Service


      A good way to try and fix a warped mat is to lay it out on a flat surface in the heat of the sun all day. This will cause to to slowly warm and the mat should then lay back flat. If it doesn’t do so on its own- once it is good and warm you can place heavy objects on it, like books, and leave them there until the mat has cooled.

      Hope this helps!

      • Sue

        Laying your mat on your blacktop driveway on a hot day worked for my very warped mat. I put heavy objects on it throughout the day. Little tip. Don’t iron on them!

        • Joyce

          I put circler knitting needles in almost boiling water you have to leave them in for a few minutes then I let them hang

      • Lynda S Ingram

        I have flattened a warped mat by placing it on a a flat board at least as large as the mat, and putting it in my car in the sun. Once it flattens, remove mat and board together and allow the mat to cool still on the board. If you don’t it will warp in a new way.

      • Pam Asher

        You are right Sue. I had a warped mat, laid it out on the hood of my car on a hot summer day. Straightened it out perfectly.

  5. Susan

    I’ve been watching a lot of videos since I joined and I notice that when back stitching some stitch forward then back then forward again and some start 1/4 inch in and just backstitches and then goes forward. Which is the correct way?

    • Customer Service

      Hi, Susan. This is actually personal preference. Starting forwards a bit, then going backwards and then forwards is enough stitching to secure the beginning of a seam, however starting at the edge, going forward, backwards and then forwards again can feel more natural. I actually change up which method I use depending on the type of fabric I am stitching on. For cotton or anything medium- to heavy-weight I will start right at the edge of the fabric. However, for lighter weight fabric I will start in a bit. I find this helps eliminate the possibility of the fabric being pushed down into the throat plate, which can happen when starting at the edge.

    • Mary

      I find that putting the straight stitch on zero length and taking a few stitches knots the end and beginning of your seam.

  6. Lenora

    I have seen some wonderful NSC how-to videos which I would like to review again. However, when I try to find them via the search feature, I get connected to other internet connections completely unrelated to NSC. Do I have to scroll through every NSC video until I find the one I’m looking for, or is there a better way to get to my favorite ones? Thank you!

    • Eilea

      I make constant use of the bookmark feature (it’s the star in the www line). To find that item again click on the 3 lines at the extreme right of the same line and click on Bookmarks. Scroll down until you find the one you want.

  7. KJk

    This works. Had a very warped mat. Used an iron over towels. Then books and weights. Let cool. Now it is flat!!!

  8. Katrinka

    I have a Fiskars brand cutting mat. My daughter purchased it about 25 years ago and on the way home, it was in the back seat of the car. The sun came in the window and warped it. I will try these things but Fiskars did warranty it about 2 weeks ago. I have tried to use it all these years.

  9. marguerite

    My cutting mat has warped also. I will try this solution. I hope it works for me. Thanks for the advice.

  10. Anita

    Thanks for the tip to straighten a warped mat. I have a very large one and could not fix it so had to get another. Now I will have TWO!

  11. Barb

    i would like to know how to get the fuzz out 0f your cutting mats as they fill up where you cut and then dont work so good.thank you.

    • Renee

      They say use the Mr Clean pad to just wipe it until the pad gets them all out.

    • Julie

      An eraser helps to get the fuzz off. I wonder if a heat gun could be used to help flatten a warped mat

  12. Renee

    Thank you so much for this post. Now I can fix my large mat. I had it slid standing up behind my dresser for years and found it warped. I have it under a spare bed but t by acts not working. I will lay it on my hor drive way after the rain quits.

  13. Ginny

    I live in the desert southwest so I tried putting the mat in the sun in my driveway. Worked like a charm! Thanks for the advice.

  14. Charlotte Brumbach

    I am in the process of shopping for a new sewing machine and am overwhelmed by all the choices out there. My mother gave me her Singer Featherweight 221 and I have been using it for my projects for over 30 years. I’ve pretty much only done straight stitching and would say that I’m a beginner. I would appreciate any recommendations you could give me for a good, affordable sewing machine. One feature I love that I have seen in my search is the automatic needle threader.

    • GrandmaSue12

      Unfortunately those threaders often break, and they are not included in the guarantee for the machine. Try wetting the needle and the thread. Often there is a little wisp of thread that didn’t cut off; try trimming it with a new cut. Annother trick is hairspray on the thread, but spray away from your machine; you don’t want to gum up the works. A little “Fray Check” works too.

      • Richard

        for the ends of thread , trying to get those wisps of thread thru the needle is a bear and a half . I have a little round piece of beeswax that I run the end of the thread through to stiffen it then shape it with my fingers. This works unless you are allergic to honey , bee stings, etc cause the beeswax might ( notice I said might) trigger a reaction . I have been using this method for years to get that pesky end of the thread to co operate. They also have plastic needle threaders that instead of a triangle of wire going through the eye of the needel , just a thin blade of metal goes through the eye, you hook the thread over the end and release the spring loaded other end and it pulls the thread through you needle eye. I bought some cheap ones off line and they work great. I have a machine that has the automatic needle threader and sometimes it works great and other times the thread misses unhooking after it goes through the needle . The needle threaders i mentioned act the same way as the auto threader pushing a thin blade of metal through the eye of the needle. I do not have a photo to show you the threaders, but you can google them . I got 5 of them for about $4.00. Why five ? cause you can never find the ONLY ONE you bought of the other type. Those cheap triangle wires that have been around for years are being made cheaper and cheaper and cheaper and pretty soon you will not be able to see the darn wire at all !!!! plus I find those break faster than a speeding bullet creating increased stress and aggravation when you are trying to “relax” when sewing. Hope this helps someone out there in cyberland

    • Ginny Cole

      I love my Brother machines. The BEST feature besides the needle threader is the automatic thread cutter. What a time saver!

  15. Maureen

    Following the advice of others, I placed my Fiskars mat on the car hood in 80 degree afternoon, and it fixed my badly warped cutting mat. Thank you the tip!

  16. Vicky

    I warped my rotary mat in a hot sun room. No matter how much weight and sun heat I applied it didn’t work. So as a last resort placed the mat on a flat surface in the oven heated the oven to 200F. Turned oven off immediately and left it there until cooled. Had to do this twice. As good as new. Measurements even remained true.

  17. Emma

    I’ve found that on a warm day, if I put the warped mat in the closed trunk of my car (sitting out in the sun) with a flat plywood board under the mat for a couple of hours, it heats up just enough to flatten the mat. I just take it out of the trunk carefully and lay it on my cool living room hardwood floor to get it to return to being solid.

  18. Sew Private

    Use your hair dryer to soften it up, roll it back into shape and lay some books on it.