Non-Iron Shirts---Health issues?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by classicusa, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. classicusa

    classicusa Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Any facts---or opinions---about tthese non-iron shirts? Formaldehyde (sp?) is used to keep the wrinkles out. I frequently wear shirts with no t-shirts---just never liked 'em. But now I would have these formaldehyde-laced shirts on my chest/back/arms all day. Something tells me that can't be good to be exposed to this this stuff for 10 hours/day over a long period of time. And one can't help but breathe in fumes from these shirts simply because of the proximity to one's face.

    What say you?
     


  2. GoldenTribe

    GoldenTribe Senior member

    Messages:
    3,675
    Likes Received:
    1,969
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    I would never wear those shirts.
     


  3. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

    Messages:
    27,426
    Likes Received:
    7,608
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Location:
    NE PA
    Not going to harm you physically.

    But you shouldn't wear these shirts because they feel like plastic.
     


  4. bleachboy

    bleachboy Senior member

    Messages:
    1,800
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Location:
    Nashville
    I'll join the chorus that says "don't wear them" ... kinda. I do own two that I used to carry with me when I traveled. But any other time, I prefer a normal cotton shirt -- they breathe much better than the non-iron type.
     


  5. bjornb17

    bjornb17 Senior member

    Messages:
    732
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Not really sure if they are any kind of health hazard, but i've phased most of my non-iron shirts out and have kept a handful for travel only. I've really began to enjoy the improved crispness, feeling, coolness, and drape of untreated cotton.
     


  6. dmerl

    dmerl New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    New here.. but I came to the forum via searching the harm in non-irons . I had resisted for some time but recently purchased several Brooks Brothers and Nordstrom no irons dress shirts. Something told when I felt the stiffness of the fabric that I shouldn't do it. After wearing one for a full day ( without washing... stupidly) I now feel as though I've just gotten back from the barber and have little hairs all over my upper torso. Terrible itching that won't stop. I've also just noticed that formaldehyde has been added to a list of known carcinogenics in the USA. I hate to think that I gave up a 3 pack a day habit to instead be killed by my shirts!

    I'll be going back to my beautifully soft, untreated cotton shirts, and wear my wrinkles proudly as a person who understands that style ain't exactly worth the discomfort or danger inherent in these garments.

    Hard to believe that we are having this discussion in our " green and politically correct " times
     


  7. Troilus

    Troilus Senior member

    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    I'll defend the non-iron. I essentially eliminated all but my non-irons a few years ago when I was in law school. At the time, I didn't want to have to pay $2.00 every day for a shirt, and I didn't want to iron my own shirts. Now that I'm out of school, I still wear them, essentially because going to the drycleaners weekly is a hassle.

    I don't have the same problem about feel that others do--some people are sensitive to formaldehyde, so that's a different issue entirely. I buy the Egyptian cotton BB button-downs now, which are much softer than the mainline non-irons.

    As to OP's health concerns about formaldehyde, the New York Times had an article about this subject last year (in the archives somewhere, I'm sure). The Starbucks scone I'm eating for lunch gives me more health-related concern that anything I'm wearing. Wash them before you wear them and you'll be fine.
     


  8. phoenixrecon

    phoenixrecon Senior member

    Messages:
    2,441
    Likes Received:
    27
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Location:
    In some dude's court
    

    they don't make the Egyptian cotton ones in non iron.
     


  9. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    3,365
    Likes Received:
    320
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Location:
    NYC
    

    no reason to use better cotton, when the shirt gets dipped and baked.
     


  10. bluesman528

    bluesman528 Senior member

    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    
    I really think it must be a kind of SF thing to wear always the purest, most natural stuff and to feel good because of that very attitude. There isn't such a thing as untreated cotton concerning fabrics for cotton dress shirts. It would simply not be possible to iron it. Therefore it's a little bit amusing to read about the constant demonizing of non-iron shirts. :)

    The main quality restriction for non-iron shirts is the fact that the producers market them as low-end products to customers who don't want to do the ironing and are not able to pay someone for that at the same time. As consequence of that the finer cotton weaves are rarely used for these shirts. What most non-iron haters hate is IMHO not the non-iron stuff itself but the cheap cotton quality that usually comes with it. The only producer I know who makes a decent non-iron shirt out of their normal two-fold 100s fabrics is TM Lewin. The mid-range and high-end shirt producers don't deal with non-ironing because they market their shirts to a wealthier segment of buyers who have no limitations to delegate the ironing job to someone else.

    Then there could be some SF members who love to touch the luxuriously soft cotton of their Borrelli shirts at weekends and call that ironing. I must say I do understand that well. :)
     


  11. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Senior member

    Messages:
    812
    Likes Received:
    16
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Location:
    New York City
    Non-iron shirts and pj's pose a personal health issue for me in that they cause me to itch and aggravate my eczema.

    I never heard of public health issues with non-iron shirts which have been around since the 1950's.
     


  12. dorolf07

    dorolf07 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    New York


  13. bjornb17

    bjornb17 Senior member

    Messages:
    732
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    

    Sorry, I didn't mean for it to come off like that. Like I said, I still have a few non iron shirts in my rotation, but the must-iron shirts are a bit more comfortable to wear and I've gotten good enough at ironing that they hardly wrinkle anymore. I didn't intend to make it sound like "untreated" cotton is all that pure, I'm sure there is bad stuff in there too. By the way I didn't really like TM Lewin's non-iron shirts all that much, but some of CT's are okay.
     


  14. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

    Messages:
    2,970
    Likes Received:
    277
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    I wear almost exclusively CT non-iron twill shirts. No they are not super soft or smooth, but thats not what I want or need. I have not noticed any difference in how well the shirts breathe compared to regular cotton shirts.

    For a night out, I will usually put on the softer smoother shirts, but for the office, non-iron all day.
     


  15. andykoctopus

    andykoctopus Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Location:
    Maryland
    I don't have any problem with non iron shirts. I wear them all the time. In fact, I am wearing one right now. I do wear them with a t-shirt underneath, but I have not had any issues with contact dermatitis and such, so I will continue to wear them because they are so easy to take care of and they don't wrinkle up horribly while I am at work.
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by