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Does Wrinkle-Free Cotton Contain Polyester?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by JST99, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. JST99

    JST99 New Member

    Dec 3, 2004
    I have seen on an Internet site that "wrinkle-free" cotton actually contains some polyester.  Does anyone know whether this is true or not,  and if so, how much polyester is allowed in it?   Also,  how are the manufacturers allowed to call it "100% cotton" when it actually contains some polyester?
  2. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

    Mar 2, 2002
    San Antonio
    The shirt guys (Alex, Carl, Chuck, Jon) can probably answer this better than I, but I believe you can have it both ways for it to be "wrinkle free". If it's "100% cotton", then the fabric has been treated with some sort of process that resists wrinkles.
  3. artdeco73

    artdeco73 Well-Known Member

    Apr 26, 2004
    Washington, DC, USA
    To the best of my knowledge, if the label says 100% cotton, the fabric is 100%. I am not sure what the legal consequences, if any, would be if a manufacturer went so low as to lie outright about its fabric content, but to the best of my knowledge, even budget manufacturers have not sunk quite this low yet.

    Up until a year or two ago (maybe longer now), wrinke resistance was achieved by soaking the fabric (in the early days, the actual finished shirt) in a special solution then "baking" it at high temperature. The checmical, when heated, would give the fabric its wrinke-resistant properties. It also frequently gave the fabric an unnatural sheen and a rough hand.

    More recently, methods have been developed to give cotton fabric wrinkle-resistance without the soak and bake methods. I am not entirely sure how they work -- perhaps a more expert member can fill in the details.

    So, to answer your question, unless the world's textile industry has completely gone to hell in a handbasket, a 100% cotton wrinkle-resistant fabric does not contain any polyester.

  4. stache

    stache Senior member

    Oct 1, 2004
    I'm not up on the details but it's a chemical that they soak the yarn in. This chemical actually fills in the little kinks found in cotton fiber, so it becomes unable to wrinkle. Neat, huh? [​IMG]
  5. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

    Dec 22, 2003
    East Hampton & New York
    To me, wrinkle free is a lady named Lucia. Give her an iron, water, 27 minutes and your shirt will be wrinkle-free.

    I do know that many of the suitings I used to buy back when we made bespoke suits (don't even ask.) were called 100% wool but contained just under 1% polyester. This had nothing to do with quality and everything to do with a lower import duty for blended fabrics. The 'just under' was apparently the key to being able to say 100% wool.

    My last experience with wrinkle-free cotton was the 'baked' kind described above. It was also hand-free, quality-free, softness-free and basically shouldabeen-free.
  6. shuman

    shuman Well-Known Member

    Nov 6, 2004
    Isnt it true that no high end shirts are treated in this way? The cotton is probably too rare and expensive to do this process.
  7. leroy

    leroy Active Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    there is never an easy way out. to have cotton treated to attain wrinkle-free, then it is likely not possible to use high-end cotton since it defeats the purpose of having those fine cotton fabric in the first place.

    personally, i find that the signs of having wrinkles on my dress shirts makes it look "natural".

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