Unlike cotton, linen and hemp, polyester is not prone to wrinkling. Generally, everything about it from cleaning to handling is easy. Regardless, sometimes a few wrinkles and creases develop as a result of bunching and mishandling.
The tricky part about getting the wrinkles out is using heat without damaging the quality of the fabric.
Briefly defined, polyester is synthetic polymer. Accordingly, when you subject it to high heat, you can shrink, melt or burn the material.
In this article, we recommend 5 safe methods that you can use to get wrinkles out of your polyester garments but first, let’s look at the wrinkling tendencies of the various variations of polyester.
Does 100% Polyester Fabric Winkle?
To understand the wrinkling properties of polyester, perhaps it’s best to dive into a brief overview of the fabric’s history. Stephen Demeo writes that the history of polyester goes back to 1951 when DuPont introduced 100% polyester fabric into the market. Specifically, DuPont’s fabric was known as Dacron Polyester, derived from synthetic fiber.
There was an earlier version of polyester by British Scientists. Its name was Terylene. Its production had been inspired by the work of a W. Carothers, who was a U.S scientist.
Since DuPont had a reputation in the clothing manufacturing industry, the fabric came into the market with a bang. The manufacturer first released a summer suit that was hailed for properties such as wrinkle resistance, durability and comfort.
There was something else. This was the only fabric of its kind. As such, it was considered luxurious and thereby pricy. The hype was real, especially because initial advertising was done on the New York Times.
People especially the affluent embraced polyester quickly because of its promise. They loved the fabric because unlike cotton and other natural fabrics, it required less care. You did not need an iron box to maintain its sleekness. With just normal washing, the fabric remained as good as new.
The fame of polyester went on and on for several decades. In the course of the period, new manufacturers joined the market and influenced the price significantly. They sold their polyester apparel at much fairer prices compared to DuPont.
With increased competition, polyester gradually became cheaper, such that people from all classes of the society could afford it. On the other hand, manufacturers of cotton were working hard to make better clothes and keep up with changing market demands.
One of the things they paid attention to was wrinkling. Of course this is one of the factors that had given polyester an upper hand for the time it swept the market off its feet.
This led to the production of blended fabrics. Although most were not as wrinkle resistant as Dacron polyester, they possessed advantages that the former didn’t. For example, they had absorbent features and a more natural feel.
Today, 100% polyester is still rich in anti-i-wrinkle features. All in all, the characteristic varies with how the fabric is made.
There are several type of polyester. Examples include ethylene and Polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT). Ethylene polyester is also known as PET and it is the most common type. Its features include:
- Low Shrinkage
- High resistance to heat
- Tough with high strength
- Low moisture absorption
- High resistance to wrinkling
- Crease resistant
- Good chemical resistance
Polyester Cotton Blend
Blending cotton and polyester is a common practice in apparel making. Most manufacturers blend the fibers in the ratio of 35 to 65, with cotton accounting for the smaller contribution.
Blending harmonizes the significantly varied characteristics of cotton and polyester, through the production of fabrics that have a bit of the properties of both.
For example, cotton is breathable whereas polyester is not. When the two are combined, the blended fabric becomes sort of breathable.
In regard to wrinkling, cotton is wrinkle-prone whereas polyester is wrinkle resistant. A Poly cotton fabric has a better wrinkle resistance profile as compared to cotton, but it is also more wrinkle-prone in comparison to 100% polyester.
It is best to get wrinkles out of polyester/cotton blended fabric by using an iron box or steamer. Although ironing is the most ideal method, steaming works well because this kind of fabric is not too wrinkly.
Wool and Polyester Blended Fabric
Wool is one of the most fragile fabrics there is. With serious durability issues, a high rate of stains absorbency, uncomfortable texture against the skin and fiber distortion issues, blending it with other fibers is always a welcome idea.
Blending wool with polyester adds to the strength and durability of wool. The blended fabric also has better texture and feel.
Wool poly fabric is crease and fairly wrinkle resistant, properties it derives from both of the primary fabrics. This means that wrinkling is not a major issue.
Further, removing the few wrinkles that appear every once in a while should also not be a major concern. The best way is to use a steam iron and follow the steps recommended in this article.
Nylon and Polyester Blend
Poly-nylon fabric is typically the material you find on clothing such as rain jackets, some types of coats and windbreakers. That being said, not all are necessarily made of this material.
The fabric is strong and durable, with low moisture absorbency, smooth and shinny appearance, and high resistance to wrinkles.
In case you experience some wrinkling issues with this fabric, it is best to remove the wrinkles with a method that does not require direct application of heat. For example, you can use a steamer or hang your garment in the bathroom with hot shower running.
Polyester and Spandex Blend
Polyester and spandex fibers blend well to form beautiful and versatile apparel fabrics. The appearance and features of the fabrics depend on the ratio in which you blend the two primary fibers.
Typically, most of the blended fabrics have a higher content of polyester. For example, the ratio of polyester to spandex can be 95 to 5 or anywhere from 85% polyester.
The fabrics are noticeably shinny and stretchy because of spandex fibers content. Generally, they are wrinkle resistant and a steamer would be enough to make them look sleek.
Polyester and Satin Blend
Poly satin fabric is probably one of the most beautiful polyester blends. It has a smooth and flowy appearance which makes it idea for dresses, scarfs, and much more.
Clothes made from this material are generally wrinkle-resistant. They also flow with the body structure which helps them retain their form and shape.
You can keep the garments looking crisp by hanging them in the bathroom with hot shower running or by using a steamer.
How to Get Wrinkles out of Polyester
There are 5 methods to get wrinkles out of polyester but we mostly recommend that you use a steamer. Still, the other techniques which include ironing, washing, throwing your garment in a dryer and hanging it in the shower are good and effective but some do not protect your clothes like a steamer does, and others are slow with average results.
Use a Steamer (Best method)
When de-wrinkling polyester, steaming ranks above every other method because of 3 main benefits. Firstly, it eliminates any chance of ruining this heat-sensitive fabric because it is much gentler compared to other techniques.
Secondly, a compact handheld steamer provides the convenience of working from anywhere. You can travel with it and de-wrinkle your garments any time the need arises.
Lastly, steaming is gentle on garments colors.
What you will need
- A steamer
- Hanger (Optional)
- Clothes rack or clothesline (optional)
- Polyester Garments
Step 1: Identify a proper working area depending on whether you have a handheld or standing steamer.
Step 2: Detach the water reservoir and add enough distilled water for steaming your polyester garments.
Step 3: If you have a standing steamer, hang your garment on the hanger in preparation for steaming. If you have a handheld steamer, use a hanger to hang your garment on a clothes rack or any other spot that you intend to work from.
Step 4: Plug in the steamer and allow steam to be generated for a minute or two. Release steam in the air to ensure that the appliance is working properly.
Step 5: Use one hand to hold the steamer close to the garment and the other one to hold one part of the garment.
Step 6: Move the steamer from the top to the bottom of the garment while working with one section at a time. If the wrinkles are resistant, try working from the inside of the garment as well.
Step 7: Let the garment air-dry for some few minutes so that it can release the moisture absorbed from steaming.
Ironing Polyester to Remove Wrinkles
The first thing that comes into the mind in regard to de-wrinkling clothes is ironing. However, this subject is not as obvious with polyester because the fabric rarely needs it in the first place.
You can iron polyester to remove wrinkles. The most important thing is doing it in the right way.
What you will need
- Steam iron
- White cotton cloth
- Distilled water
- Ironing board
- Clean polyester garment
Step 1: Prepare the working area by setting the iron board.
Step 2: Spread the polyester garment on the iron board and cover it completely with the cotton cloth.
Step 3: Add distilled water to the water tank and plug in the iron.
Step 4: Adjust the heat settings and choose the right temperature for polyester.
Step 5: Iron as you would by pressing the garment until all the wrinkles are removed.
Important note: If you do not have a steam iron, you can still use your dry iron safely. Simply add distilled water to a spritz bottle and spray generously on the cotton cloth before you begin to press the garment.
How to get Wrinkles out of Polyester with a Dryer
If you do not have a steamer or an iron box, the next option is to proceed with the dryer method. This method is safe and effective if done correctly.
What you will need
- A dryer
- Damp wash cloth/ small towel
- Clean polyester garment
Step 1: Place your polyester garment and a damp wash cloth or towel in a dryer.
Step 2: Set the dryer on low heat and let it run for a full cycle.
Step 3: Remove the garment and air-dry for some few minutes.
An easy method for getting wrinkles out of polyester is using moisture from the shower. This method works in almost the same way as using a steamer. All you need is to hang your garment in the shower and switch on the hot shower mode for about 5-10 minutes. The steam from the shower loosens the fabric thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Air-dry the garment thereafter to get rid of the moisture.
Washing polyester by hands or in a washing machine eliminates wrinkles and creases completely. You can later dry the garment in a dryer but hanging it on the clothesline works best.
How to Get Winkles out of Specific Polyester Items
How you remove wrinkles from different polyester items depends on how they are made. For instance, you can use all the recommended wrinkle removal methods if your item is made of 100% polyester material.
Some polyester items retain a wrinkle and crease free appearance for the most part. For instance, you might notice this if you have clothes made of polyester and satin blended fabric.
In such a case, it is best to store the items well and eliminate the need for removing wrinkles altogether. Do not bunch the items. Fold them neatly instead, or hang them nicely in your closet.
Since curtains are big and cumbersome, the best way to de-wrinkle them is by using a steamer. A cordless handheld steamer particularly comes in handy because it allows you to move freely.
Hang your curtain on the curtain rode or on a clothesline and move the steamer in an up and downwards motion. Work with one section of your curtain at a time so that you can do a thorough job.
Another wrinkle elimination method that you can use is to wash and hang your curtains. Follow the steps recommended in this article for best results.
Lastly, you can also hang your curtains in the bathroom and turn on the hot shower function. The steam released as the water runs works in the same way a steamer does. If you decide you use this method, spread your curtain well so that the wrinkles can stretch out quickly.
Dresses and Pants
Use any of our recommended wrinkle removal methods because dresses are easy to handle. Even so, be extra keen if your dress or pants are made of blended fabric.
Do not prioritize ironing if your dress is made of polyester and nylon blended fabric. Both of these fabrics are no friendly to direct heat, a feature they share with the blended fabric.
If your dress has decorative features such as beads and rhinestones, dewrinkle with the steamer method to avoid ruining it.
Polyester tablecloths tend to wrinkle more than other polyester items. The ugly wrinkles and creases form because of folding and mishandling, and they are difficult to remove. This makes an iron box your best bet for getting the wrinkles out.
An iron box with steam function works best because you might need to dampen the cloths for the creases to clear completely. Remember to set the iron box on low heat setting to avoid burning the fabric.
Alternatively, wash in cold water and hang on a clothesline to air dry.
Most comforters are big and heavy, which makes it difficult to remove wrinkles with whatsoever method. Not to mention, you cannot remove wrinkles from most of them with the most reliable method which is ironing.
Since laundering is also not something you can do regularly, spray your comforter lightly with water and hang it on the clothesline. You can try a wrinkle release spray with this method but there is no guarantee for perfect results.
If your comforter is heavily wrinkled, wash it and dry it with low heat in the dryer. Add a few dryer balls to the tumble dryer.
Remove wrinkles from a polyester flag by ironing it. Choose a steam iron and do not place it directly on the fabric. Use a cloth in between the flag and iron box.
Make sure that you stretch the flag properly to avoid making creases as you iron.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does polyester wrinkle after washing?
Generally, polyester should not wrinkle after washing. In fact, washing should help with eliminating wrinkles and creases. Ensure that you hang your polyester garments on a clothesline or hanging rack so that they can be straightened out. After unhanging, do not bunch them up with other clothes. Use hangers to keep them organized in the closet.
Can you iron polyester?
Yes! You can iron polyester when necessary. The best way is to use a steam iron because moisture helps with removing creases. All the same, sprinkling water on the garment and using a dry iron works in the same way. Do not forget to have a cotton cloth in between your polyester garment and the iron box.
Can a dry cleaner get wrinkles out of polyester?
Just like handwashing or using a washing machine, a dry cleaner should de-wrinkle your polyester garments. Ideally, moisture loosens the fabric thereby smoothening out the wrinkles.
Does polyester shrink in the dryer?
Ordinarily, polyester does not shrink in the dryer. However, when the appliance is used to achieve this purpose then it is possible to achieve shrinkage.
What temperature do you iron polyester?
The correct temperature for ironing polyester is 148 °C / 300 °F. Using temperatures that are slightly below the recommended works just fine. However, you are likely to melt or burn the fabric if you choose a higher setting.
Can 100% polyester curtains be ironed?
Curtains, shirts, dresses, tablecloths and all other garments that are made of polyester fabric can be ironed.
Will iron melt polyester?
When a clothes iron is set on temperatures above the recommended range for polyester, there is a possibility for melting the material.