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Why Don't You Make Wrinkle Free Shirts?

June 01, 2016

Ironing Underwater

“No more ironing!"

“Never iron again!"

“Travel with only one shirt. No ironing."

“Live your life iron-free..."

These are the claims we hear in ads or pitches for non-iron shirts. Non-iron shirts are all the rage these days. We love new technologies and we love clothes, so merging the two should result in a great combination? Initially, the answer seems to be yes. But part of our job as a company is to take what “seems to be" question it. To dig in on new clothing technologies and make you a better informed consumer. So that's what we did...

The concept of “permanent press" aka ''non-iron" was perfected by a number of people in the early 20th centure. This wonderful and inspiring lady was one of them. The most famous “Non-Iron Shirts" from brands like Brooks Brothers are cut and sewn then given a formaldehyde resin bath. This basically bonds the molecules of the cotton fibers to each other, making the fabric way more difficult to crease and hence, less (or no) need to iron.

At Pacific Issue we are not against technology and new ways to make your life easier (we are totally comfortable with using an algorithm to size you, for instance). However, we are wary of treating our fabrics with chemicals like formaldehyde. They can cause a rash in a small portion of the population. And while there's no hard evidence that the chemicals used in non-iron clothes are bad for you, we are withholding judgment and exercising common sense to stay away until there are more studies done on this.

Still don't like ironing?

Here's a general rule of thumb for you: the higher the thread count on a shirt, the more upkeep (ironing) it will take. This is because the threads are finer and more prone to getting pressed into wrinkles and creases. Another rule of thumb, a one-ply fabric will generally wrinkle faster than a two-ply fabric. Two-ply doesn't mean two-layers (as in toilet paper). It means two threads weaved together and it is generally stronger and more resistant to wrinkles.

A portion of our collection sits at a lower thread count and is weaved using a cotton-polyester blend. These are technically considered “permanent press" fabrics. Again, that means they don't wrinkle as easily as your average shirt and oftentimes don't require any ironing so long as you don't leave them at the bottom of your laundry pile for weeks on end. We don't treat these fabrics with any chemicals because we just don't know the results of prolonged exposure to those chemicals.

What next?

  1. Check out our casual wrinkle-resistant fabrics
  2. Take our fit algorithm and sign up for our weekly Pi Blast for more articles like the above AND 25% off your first shirt