Looking for tips to Get Wrinkles Out of Polyester?
When it comes to clothes, not all fabrics are created equally. Materials like silk and cashmere require hand washing, while wool has to be dry-cleaned. But there is one type of fabric that will keep you in business no matter how much time or money you spend on your wardrobe: polyester.
Polyester garments are wrinkle-resistant, easy to wash, and can withstand hundreds of spins in a top-loading washer using any laundry detergent you want. A perfect alternative if your budget requires a cheaper option or you have little time due to hectic work schedules.
However, this doesn’t mean these popular fibers do not have their own set of care instructions for best usage around the office and around town.
What is a Polyester?
Manufacturers of clothing and textiles will often use the word “polyester” to refer to a type (or group) of fiber and not the name of a specific material. In this sense, when someone asks what polyester is? It’s important to know what they’re asking before answering. Usually, when they say polyester, they expect you to respond with the name of a specific fiber or family of fibers that are related in some way.
Types of Polyester in Clothing
There are two different types of Polyesters used in Clothing today:
- 100% Polyester, which is all manmade fibers made from chemicals.
- 50/50 Poly-Cotton blends consisting of 50% cotton and 50% polyester blended together to create a more durable fabric.
- 100% Polyester is the manmade version of plastic or fake fibers that are made in a factory. These materials are usually found in men’s clothing, athletic wear, and outerwear because they’re typically stronger than natural fibers and can hold shape even when wet.
- 100% polyester material only provides warmth when combined with other natural fabrics because it doesn’t trap air or insulate on its own. This type of material is often referred to as being “stretchy,” especially if it contains spandex. It can be shiny but sometimes has a cotton-like look in appearance.
- 100% polyester garments are not breathable in warm weather because moisture cannot reach the surface and evaporate. These types of materials are also difficult to dye because the dye cannot sink in, so they’re normally printed instead.
- 100% polyester fabrics can be knit or woven into various weaves, including poplin, dobby, twill, and rib knits.
- Poly-Cotton is a blend of 50% cotton and 50% polyester, giving all the comfort and absorbency of natural fibers while providing strength and durability like manmade fabrics.
- Poly-cotton material has a very soft hand feel but may not be as strong as pure cotton fabric overall. This type of blended fiber is used for button-down shirts and polo items to provide comfort without sacrificing performance or style.
- This type of material is also very breathable, making it great for warm-weather wear. Poly-cotton fabrics usually are knit or woven into oxford, twill, chino, and houndstooth patterns.
Does 100% Polyester Wrinkle?
100% polyester fabric is more wrinkle-resistant than cotton. However, it depends on the thickness and weave of the material.
If you need a very sharp crease in your clothes for some reason (lawyer need to look fancy even though they sit at a desk all day?), then 100% polyester pants will be quite wrinkly despite ironing if they are not made of thick cloth or with no stretchable material like twill.
The fuzziness/stretchability contributes to the “memory” of the material fabric, and it will keep its original shape even after many years. Thin materials like sheer silk, chiffon, taffeta, etc., will not hold a crisp crease for more than one day; you need to take them to the dry-cleaners instead (unless they are made of heavy silk or twill).
Blend fabrics like cotton+polyester boast better resistance against wrinkling than 100% cotton because the polyester helps smooth out subtle bumps in the fabric. There is also a weave structure involved; tightly woven fabrics resist wrinkles better than loosely woven ones.
So, a high spandex content makes 100% polyester pants more wrinkle-resistant than a similar pair made from 100% cotton. However, the % of polyester in the blend matters more than the spandex content since high elasticity comes at a price of lesser resistance to wrinkling. To avoid wrinkles in 100% cotton clothes, I recommend synthetic/cotton blends instead.
How to Get Wrinkles Out of Polyester?
Steps You Can Do to Get Wrinkles Out of Polyester
- Turn your polyester garments inside out before washing and drying them. If possible, use cold water. There is no need to use bleach or strong detergents as this can affect the color of the garment and cause shrinkage. Use a mild detergent, dissolve it in lukewarm water and soak the clothing for about 15 minutes before rinsing it thoroughly with cold water.
- Put an old towel at the bottom of your washer so that the clothes do not move around too much during washing. Add some more towels on top of the clothing if they tend to wrinkle easily. This will keep the clothes from becoming too wrinkled.
- Put all your wet clothing into the dryer and set it to medium-high heat. Tumble them for 15 minutes to help remove out excess moisture. If you have delicate fabrics, then lower the heat setting to prevent shrinkage.
- Remove clothing from the dryer when they are done and lay it flat on a table or any other hard flat surface. This allows air to circulate inside to dry properly without smelling musty if left in closed areas like cabinets, drawers, etc.
- If there are still some wrinkles after these steps, leave your clothes outside overnight so that they can bask under the sun’s rays. Sunlight has a natural bleaching effect that will remove any stubborn stains, and at the same time, it will help remove wrinkles from your clothing.
- If you can’t hang your clothes outside because of adverse weather conditions (rainy or cloudy days), use an electric/manual clothes steamer. Fill the steamer’s tank with water and heat it. Keep the nozzle about an inch away from your polyester fabric, and make sure to move the streamer in all directions for even steam distribution. The hot steam penetrates deep into fabrics loosening wrinkles and helping in their removal.
- Avoid ironing polyester since this can cause shrinkage. If you must iron them, always turn the garment inside out. Remember to use a low setting for ironing, as higher settings can cause discoloration or melt your clothing. For stubborn wrinkles, spray an all-purpose liquid fabric adhesive on the wrinkled areas and allow them to dry. Iron them after about ten minutes, but move the iron in circular movements rather than straight lines.
Other Tips You Should Consider
Permanent Press Fabric
Polyester fabrics aren’t new, but until recently, they were never known for their wrinkle resistance. Manufacturers had introduced permanent press finishes on natural fibers such as cotton and rayon to make them look like they had been ironed.
Polyester, which is a synthetic fiber, was not treated in the same way because it would be damaged by heat. Instead of mimicking natural fibers with permanent finishes, manufacturers decided to imitate natural fibers with permanent construction.
Polyester fabrics treated against wrinkles use a resin finish or chemical treatment that stiffens the fabric and keeps it from wrinkling as much as untreated polyesters do.
Resin-treated polyesters don’t need as much ironing as other fabrics; they simply need a gentle touch-up with the iron on the wrong side if they become wrinkled after laundering or storage. You can reduce some of the less stubborn wrinkles by running an ice cube over the fabric.
Your clothes won’t wrinkle much in the dryer or on the hanger if you take care of your synthetic fibers. Most synthetics can be machine-dried on low heat without damage if tumble dried with similar fabrics such as cotton and rayon.
This is because cotton and rayon create their static electricity while polyesters don’t, so there’s no need to add more static by using extra dryer sheets or fabric softener. It would be best to always unroll the clothes promptly after taking them out of the dryer, so they don’t become wrinkled before putting them away.
If polyester fabrics need to be ironed, the best temperature setting for smooth results is steamy and low. Polyester should never be placed directly over a heat source because it may melt, shrink, or pill.
Use a press cloth on top of the fabric when ironing to protect it from damage. You can find a commercially made press cloth at many dry-cleaning stores, but if you don’t want to spend extra money on supplies, use an old cotton pillowcase you have lying around the house.
The lint that accumulates in your dryer screens is also great for this purpose because it’s lint-free and absorbent.
Using water with polyester
You can add 1/4 cup distilled water to 1 cup of polyester for ironing. The distilled water allows the fibers to move more freely over one another, which reduces the chances of melting or wrinkling.
Distilled water is non-conductive, so it can be used safely with electrical appliances. You should never add regular tap water because it contains minerals that are corrosive and conduct electricity.
Adding distilled water helps keep your iron from damaging your fabrics, but you should still take precautions while ironing because electric irons get very hot.
Placing a barrier between your clothing and iron is recommended if they touch while you’re working on an especially stubborn wrinkle or crease. Use aluminum foil or parchment paper instead of wax paper; the wax in a wax paper may mark some synthetic fibers.
No matter what type of polyester you have, if it needs ironing, it will be safer and easier to press with a steam iron set on low heat with a wet cloth or a press cloth over the top. But generally speaking, you don’t need to worry too much about wrinkles in clothes made from artificial fabrics because they’re usually fairly easy to smooth out.
Hanging Methods to Avoid Polyester Wrinkles
It may seem like a no-brainer, but many people don’t know the best way to hang up polyester garments to avoid wrinkles. While it might seem as though any method will do, not everyone knows that hanging your clothes in the wrong way can cause them to wrinkle badly and quickly.
To keep your clothing from becoming wrinkled when hung up properly, follow these simple tips:
- Hang pants by the top of the hem only. If you need to, use a pants hanger or regular hanger with clips on either side of the bottom hem so it doesn’t slide off while still having both legs at once if necessary. Never hang them by one leg! The waistband will stretch out, and the pants will lose their shape. Hanging them by one side of the bottom can also cause a horizontal crease across each leg, ruining the look of your slacks.
- Never hang skirts or dresses by their waistbands. Instead, put a regular hanger inside the skirt with clips on either side just above the hem, then hang from that by both top corners of the waistband. This will keep them from sliding down while hanging up without causing permanent wrinkles.
- Hang blouses from their shoulders instead of the neckline to avoid stretching out necklines and causing wrinkles or lines on sleeves, which can immediately ruin a garment’s appearance.
Nothing ages faster than wrinkles. If your clothing is wrinkled, it can make you look ten years older than when it’s hanging on the rack in the store.
When buying polyester fabrics for any garment, inspect them very carefully before purchasing to be sure they are wrinkle-free! Even with gentle handling and care, polyester garments will still develop creases and wrinkles over time.
Follow the steps mentioned above and tips to keep them looking crisp and fresh (especially around collars, cuffs, and waistbands)!