More than 60% of all retail clothing consists of polyester, meaning that your closet probably holds a great deal of this contemporary fabric! Because of its artificial fibers, the good news is that this material has natural wrinkle resistance. Regardless of this, you will sometimes need to understand how to get wrinkles out of polyester.
In this short article, you’ll learn the top 3 approaches to smooth away wrinkles in polyester. You’ll also discover what strategies do not work. You’ll get some tips for how to deal with challenging products like curtains and flags.
What is Polyester Fabric?
Polyester is a synthetic material that’s been created from petroleum. Most polyester fibers are made from ethylene, a hydrocarbon. This substance gets mixed with an acid to create polyester fabric. This all sounds complicated, but basically, think of polyester as a type of plastic that can be milled into different lengths and widths to suit the fabric’s desired outcome of the garment.
Polyester was initially developed in the 1940s but didn’t gain traction until the 1970s when changing styles started to accept this flexible and cost-effective synthetic. Ever since, textile sciences have developed in bounds and leaps, allowing garment manufacturers to utilize polyester in innovative ways.
Because of its artificial fibers, one-hundred-percent polyester has excellent wrinkle resistance. Manufacturers frequently blend it with other natural fibers to create less wrinkly garments that require little care and work well for traveling. That said, this product can wrinkle under specific scenarios.
Why Does Polyester Wrinkle?
Polyester tends to wrinkle when blended with other materials, such as poly-cotton.
It is also possible that polyester can reshape when worn or stored for some time. Sometimes heat and pressure will cause polyester to wrinkle; for example, sitting at your desk all day may cause wrinkles where your body curves.
If polyester is folded and stored (think packaged curtains or flags), it may hold these creases.
How to Get Wrinkles Out of Polyester
The very best ways to get wrinkles out of polyester are:
- Put it in the dryer on the permanent press setting
- Use a clothes steamer to reshape the clothing
- Iron on a very low heat
The synthetic fibers in polyester can melt when exposed to high heat, so special care needs to be taken to protect polyester from the heat from an iron.
If you have ever ironed polyester on a high heat setting, it most likely would have stuck to your iron’s soleplate or left you with a shiny iron mark on your clothing.
As 100% polyester will react to heat, gentle heat is the best method to remove wrinkles.
The Permanent Press Method
The permanent press setting on your clothes dryer should be called polyester. It is perfect for this fabric as it starts warm, then finishes cool.
The warmth helps to remold the fabric; the coolness sets the material – hence the “permanent press.”
It is essential to hang up your clothing as soon as the dryer cycle has been completed. If you leave your clothes sitting in the dryer, you will have a new set of wrinkles to contend with.
Ensure your polyester clothes are completely dry and cool before storing them in your wardrobe. Any residual warmth could cause a new wrinkle, particularly if another garment is pressed against it.
Using a Clothing Steamer
Steam is incredibly gentle and works well for removing wrinkles from polyester. Hang your clothing on a wooden hanger and steam from top to bottom.
You can gently pull on the bottom of the fabric to help reshape it during steaming. Be careful not to stretch or misshape your clothes – work slowly and gently.
Also, ensure only the steam makes contact with the polyester fabric, not the soleplate of the clothing steamer. As these can get quite hot, you can quickly melt your polyester fabric like you would with an iron.
Using an Iron to Remove Wrinkles from Polyester
Ironing polyester can be tricky because, unlike natural fibers such as cotton and wool, it acts like plastic and has a melting point much lower than most fabrics.
If an iron is too hot, the polyester could melt and stick together in bits, so you would have to discard all of your clothing!
To ensure this doesn’t happen, set your iron to its lowest setting and don’t iron the polyester directly – instead, put a damp tea towel or ironing cloth over it and let the heat seep through.
Does Wrinkle Release Work on Polyester?
Wrinkle-release products are best used on polyester blends but not on 100% polyester. The plastic fibers in 100% polyester won’t absorb wetness, so it would be a waste of wrinkle releaser to try.
Suppose your polyester blend fabric has greater than 60% natural fibers (cotton, for example). In that case, this will quickly absorb the wrinkle-release spray and help smooth wrinkles.
Removing Wrinkles from Polyester Blend Fabrics
Polyester blends are a combination of polyester fabric and another fabric. The most common polyester blends are poly-cotton, poly-spandex, and poly-satin.
Steaming is the most effective method to remove wrinkles from polyester cotton. Steam will be especially effective on poly-cotton because cotton absorbs moisture well. Be careful not to touch the soleplate of the steamer to the fabric.
If you use an iron on poly-cotton fabrics, use a spray bottle to dampen the fabric first. Use a low heat setting and if you are concerned, try using an ironing cloth over the top to avoid burning the material.
Wrinkle-release products may help with poly-cotton fabrics, particularly if the garment has a higher percentage of cotton.
Any fabric that’s smooth and stretchy is probably polyester spandex. Think sportswear, leggings, stretch dresses, stretch shirts, and more.
The downside with polyester spandex is that spandex doesn’t tolerate heat well.
Drip drying is often the best way to smooth wrinkles from poly-spandex fabric. If you hang up the item when wet and allow it to dry, the weight of the water helps to smooth the fabric.
Using a clothing steamer is also effective for polyester spandex fabrics. As I’ve previously mentioned, make sure you don’t touch the soleplate of the steamer against the material. Hold the steamer at least 3 inches away from the clothing.
You will generally find that poly-satin fabrics have a smooth and rougher side. The tip to getting wrinkles out of poly-satin is to steam the item on the rough side.
Steam is the best method to help remove wrinkles from polyester satin fabrics.
If wrinkles persist, continue steaming slowly. You could also try ironing on the rough side of the fabric, using a cloth between the iron and the polyester fabric to protect it.
The most convenient way to eliminate wrinkles from polyester is to use a clothes steamer or the permanent press setting on your clothes dryer.
Always read the care label on your clothing before washing and drying. This will give you the best recommendation for that particular garment.
Remember that as polyester is a man-made fabric, it is sensitive to heat. Therefore don’t directly apply heat from an iron to your polyester clothing. Instead, use an ironing cloth or dampened tea towel to avoid scorching your clothes.
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