If you are using a Studio or Similar Cutter machine
This is from our Chief Engineer... after reading about others that have used hard plastic mats on their "Studio-type" cutter, with the non "Studio" dies, then can't get a decent cut on the smaller cutters. Save your dies!
Blue Wren dies are of the highest quality and fully made in Australia, so the following by no means should be interpreted that the Blue Wren dies are of lesser quality.
There is a popular misconception circulating in social media regarding the use of mats that says, “that the mat to be used is determined by the machine and not the die”, when the opposite is true.
We will try here to explain the reasons why you should NEVER use the hard rigid plastic mat made out of Polycarbonate, Acrylic or alike when using a Blue Wren die or similar that has a plastic tray as a backing (beige in colour in the case of Blue Wren dies).
Studio or similar dies have 1” tall blades, whereas the Blue Wren dies have ½” tall blades. The 1” blades are also thicker, and therefore tolerate more pressure, and the stainless steel tray is the backing of the blades. In the case of the dies with ½” blades, the beige colour plastic is the backing of the blades.
The soft mats that come included with all Blue Wren dies are made of a specially engineered arrangement and material, where it is expected that the sharp border of the blades will penetrate into the mat by around one third of the mat’s thickness. If the mat used is of the hard rigid type used with Studio, some Sizzix or similar machines, the sharp border of the blades cannot sink sufficiently into that harder mat and therefore could, and will, push and sink the back of the blades into the beige plastic backing tray, rendering the die forever damaged. This damage could occur with just only one pass through the machine. The die may still work after that, but only with the hard mat from there on, but will eventually fail altogether and shims will be required to be added to compensate for the loss of height which the blades have suffered due to being sunk into the beige plastic backing tray.
You can perceive the pressure the blades are subjected to by observing the marks left on the stainless steel tray when normally using the Studio dies, imagine what happens with thinner blades on a softer plastic backing (the beige tray). That is why Blue Wren dies use a softer formulated mat, so the blade will sink into the mat and not into the plastic backing tray. So it is very safe to use the Blue Wren dies in a Studio machine or similar, but while using the softer mats.
The Die determines what mat to use, NOT the machine.
Following is a drawing showing how to arrange the different parts needed to use a Blue Wren die or alike with a Studio type cutting machine. You must still always use the stainless steel tray, with the 10mm adapter on it. On the Adapter you place the Blue Wren die with up to 6 layers of 100% cotton fabric or paper, (yes, you can cut paper with Blue Wren dies) and the soft mat on top of all, then pass it all through the rollers of the machine.