I've used the Wilton mat. I dislike how flimsy it is and it cuts to easily. It also slides all over my table.
The next one I purchased was the Fiskars craft mat. I love how sturdy it is and thick. Unfortunately this one has some cuts in it and I've found the ink is coming off.
I normally use my pastry cutter, but do use an exacto knife for smaller more detailed piece.
Hi SandraDee73. I went through the same thing during my learning curve. The solution for me is to have 2 Wilton mats. One for cutting with pastry cutter or XActo knives, and another for non-cutting uses like rolling out fondant or dough.
These Wilton mats are food safe and relatively inexpensive when purchased with craft store coupons.
The solution for sliding is to purchase some thin, rubberized shelf liner at the Dollar Store, cut to size, and place under the mat. This same rubberized shelf liner is great for:
Placing under cake board when using a turntable.
Placing under the cake board when placing the finished cake in the delivery box so the cake doesn't slide around inside the box.
Placing on the floor of your car when transporting cakes/cakes-in-boxes so there is no movement/sliding on the floor
I am lucky as my kitchen has a stone countertop which is big enough to roll out even large fondant sheets.
Just a couple of days ago I've been to my friends new place and saw an (aluminum? ) work table outside on the terrace. When I asked her she said it's from her husband's shop (he's running a pizzeria) and they don't use it and now it's just dumped in her house. Was thinking to myself if I wouldn't have to my stone top I would probably buy it off her (actually still tempted). Maybe it's worth looking online for a second hand bakery or pizzeria work table...? Most places just toss them if they renovate.
Thank you both for your insight. Unfortunately I don't have the room for another table, so going with two separate mats would probably be the best option right now.
The Fiskars mats--or any brand of self healing cutting mat usually used for things like quilting--are not food safe and should never be used for fondant/gumpaste that will be placed on food and [possibly] eaten. The "self-healing" quality means that food and then bacteria get trapped in the mat. The surface also releases non-food safe materials when it's cut, and as you see, the inks come off with use.
I use The Mat by sweetwise.com for rolling fondant. Its' the only food-safe vinyl mat on the market. I roll on only one piece of the mat, not the 2 mat method, and I adhere the mat to my solid surface countertop using water. I wipe the counter with a wet paper towel, put the mat in place, and then sqeegee out the water from under it. I have a dedicated counter, so the mat stays in place for months at a time. I clean it in place with dishwashing soap and water, wipe it down with a disinfecting wipe, rinse it with a wet paper towel, dry it, and then reapply a smear of vegetable shortening. I never roll on any dust of any kind because of this.
I don't cut directly on the mat with anything sharp. I always have my cake on it's same sized board and then sitting on a much larger board before I drape the fondant over it, so when I cut away the excess I'm cutting against that larger board and not the mat that I rolled on.
For cutting fondant shapes, drapes, etc., I cut on a disposable plastic cutting mat that I get at the Dollar Store 2/$1 or a plastic cutting board. They take a lot of abuse and can go in the top rack of the dishwasher.
We use Fat Daddio's silicone mat. (See here: http://www.amazon.ca/Fat-Daddios-Silicone-Fondant-Work/dp/B00U0DMFR8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442362301&sr=8-1&keywords=fondant+silicone+mat+fat+daddios)
It never slides, its big and perfect for rolling out fondant and gum paste. It's a little expensive but totally worth it. We started out with the Wilton mat, and just like you, we couldn't stand how it slides all over the place and how flimsy it is. I also have The Mat by Sweetwise, but you need to be careful when cutting with an XActo, you can make dents as well.