So gents , you have just purchased a wrinkle -free or wrinkle resistant shirt.....it's the end of the iron age right? well ....let's talk about this..
Remember I said as any lady knows , getting rid of wrinkles requires a lot of chemicals. Same for your shirt.There are 9 different resins used to make shirts wrinkle -free. Most of those resins have formaldehyde. And yes some the formaldehyde is released from the material during wear and the lifetime of the shirt. I don't know about you ,but anything the frogs in bio - lab was pickled in isn't going on my back. But that's just me.
You should also know these shirts are guaranteed wrinkle-free for 25- 30 washings. After that the resin has disappated and the shirt is no longer wrinkle -free. So what ? Well here in south Texas that means in 6 months - back to the iron age. Only one small problem - there is a glue in collar that when heated turns dark and looks like dirt on the collar tips. Not all shirts have this poblem and not all brands have the problem. But your problem is - you won't know if your shirt does until you actually use a hot iron on it. ( can't tell by looking - sorry guys - a pretty shirt is like a pretty girl - you can't see what's inside)
So - do you spend money on those teeth whiteners? Think white teeth are important? How about a white shirt? Well the resins used in those wrinkle -free shirts resist optical brightners."So what does that mean to me and what the heck is an optical brightner?"Optical brightners are in most home and all commercial detergents to help keep white shirts bright white. So by resisting the optical brightner the wrinkle -free shirt will not look as white as a pure-finished shirt. Ok think of it this way - no resin -whiter shirt. Optical brightner basically crest white strips for your shirts.
Remember those ads "ring around the collar "? Ring around the collar is not a sign of poor hygiene. Let's be honest - we sweat when we get hot. And yucky as this may sound we are kinda oily folks. Those ring around the collar stains are oily stains . Now don't start thinking we are walking human salad dresssings. But if it wasn't for those oils in our skin - we would have dried up and blown away in the dark ages. The resins in wrinkle -free shirts end to retain oily stains. And do not use chlorine bleach on these shirts.Never ever- you can turn your shirt yellow or lose strength in the material. So if you are washing these shirts at home - sorry but you will need to scrub those collars.
These shirts also tend to suffer from abrasion because they are stiffer due to the resins. What this means is areas that tend to get more wear ,the back of the collar and cuffs will show signs of wear faster than untreated shirts. The resin treated shirts will probably feel stiffer than non-treated shirts.
So how do you know if your shirt is wrinkle -free or wrinkle resistant? Most shirts will have a label on collar saying it is. But it is not mandatory. It is not required by the care label law. But ......if you read the ........yep you got it ....the care label you will know. The care label will read machine wash,tumble dry, and remove promptly. The label may allow for cool or cold iron. (good luck with that one ) But those washing instructions mean your shirt was treated with wrinkle-free resins.
So is it the end of the iron age ? If you want a whiter shirt - no. If you want starch - no. If you think a great laundered shirt makes you look and feel better - no. So I guess if you want to move on to the bronze age - you could always get a bronze tie.