Author Topic: fabrics that don't wrinkle  (Read 6179 times)

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Offline gaylee1949

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fabrics that don't wrinkle
« on: February 22, 2007, 04:14:27 PM »
I adore sewing.  I live for sewing.  However, I am having a really difficult time finding fabrics that don't wrinkle.  Since I have pretty serious carpal tunnel syndrome, I will avoid ironing at all costs!  For example, I am currently looking for a red print for a shirt/jacket for shopping, on a black background preferably, in a fabric that doesn't wrinkle.  Challis has to be dry cleaned, right?  How about rayon prints?  Are they washable and nonwrinkling?  HELP!  Thanks in advance to all of you.  This site is a priceless resource. 

gaylee

QueenBee

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Re: fabrics that don't wrinkle
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2007, 05:14:11 PM »
Gaylee, If you are talking wool challis, I would assume dry clean. Rayon challis would be washable. I wash all my rayons. You need to preshrink, I suggest 2 or 3 times, because it often has residual shrinkage. I allow an extra 1/8 yard for each yard needed, and if 3 or more yards I toss in some extra beyond that. It's good insurance.

Alas, to my knowledge, all rayon wrinkles. Prints do not show it as much.

Gaylee, the only time I iron is to press wrinkles out of patterns, prep fabric to cut, and press while I sew. Rayon steams beautifully. I've got bad CT also, both wrists, and my solution was one of those steamers they sell at Hancock Fabrics.They go on sale for about $50 pretty often. Not as fancy as the Jiffy I used when I was in retail fashion, but adequate for the job and priced right. There are more to choose from out there now.

I hope this helps.

And yes, this site is wonderful.

Rene Marie

Offline judith

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Re: fabrics that don't wrinkle
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2007, 05:23:13 PM »
I have several tops made out of rayon batik. I wash in eucalan, hang to dry, and toss in the dryer for a few minutes on low heat to remove wrinkles. The only area that needs ironing after that is where I have applied interfacing - but I try to avoid interfacing where ever possible now.
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Offline Liana

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Re: fabrics that don't wrinkle
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2007, 07:15:29 PM »
I'm anti-ironing as well. ;)  As Rene said, all rayon wrinkles.  You may want to investigate polyester blends.  Often a low percentage of poly in with a natural fiber will take care of most of the ironing problems, and not affect the hand very much.  I like blends when I can find nice ones, because you get the good qualities of both fibers.  It's when they do the 80 poly/20 rayon type thing that you get the fakey looking and feeling stuff.  One of my favorite pant fabrics was a linen/poly blend.  Looks and feels like linen, and doesn't wrinkle like linen.  What's not to like?

Have you investigated the popular "crinkled" fabrics?  They're supposed to look "wrinkled" or at least, you're not supposed to press out the crinkles.  They're around mostly in the summer, although they'd be good for blouses any time of year.

You probably already know that if you take things out of the dryer while they're still damp, pull a bit on the seams and other places where you may get a bit of puckering, and hang them the rest of the way dry, you can avoid a lot of ironing.  This even works with high quality cottons.

Offline sew_k

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Re: fabrics that don't wrinkle
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2007, 11:29:08 PM »
Add me to the group that is anti-ironing. Crinkled fabrics are wonderful! I also like polyester and rayon combinations for making dress pants. I tend to sew in darker colors (especially for skirts or pants) because even if there are a few wrinkles, they don't reflect the light as much and people won't notice them as they would on white or light colors.

When shopping, it helps to crush the fabric on the bolt for a moment in your hand, then release it to see if the wrinkles "fall out" right away or stay crushed. That's a good test to see if you might like it.

Offline peter

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Re: fabrics that don't wrinkle
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2007, 12:31:48 AM »
The super120 or tropical weight wools resist wrinkling but you'd need to dry clean them periodicly or get that steamer mentioned below and just touch it up periodically.  I think a steamer is a good way to go.  i have the small Jiffy and I've seen new generic versions for under $100.  The handle is a very lightweight plastic.  You're freshening up the clothing as you're removing the wrinkles so you reduce dry cleanings or washings.

A good cotton can be "hand ironed" right out of the dryer--esp if you underload the dryer a bit.  Does anyone else hand iron their clothes?  It works well for t-shirts and jeans esp.
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Offline LauraTS

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Re: fabrics that don't wrinkle
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2007, 01:05:10 AM »
I have good luck with cotton/poly blends and rayon/poly - and rayon/linen, which I really like a lot. Like Peter, I find that if you take clothes right out of the dryer and hang or fold them, you can shake a lot of the wrinkles out and not have to iron.
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Offline judic

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Re: fabrics that don't wrinkle
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2007, 08:38:50 AM »
You're all going to 'hang me out to dry' but the best way I've found to eliminate wrinkles is to 'hang them out'.
Yep - on the line,  in the breeze.  I learned how to hang clothes a long, long time ago. Give them a really good shake, then peg them on the line. Shirts, blouses from the 'tails, Pants from the waists, and tees with the hems just over the line, not stretched. Dresses - usually from the hems, but not stretched out.   The really good shake is the secret. and it helps if there's a nice breeze blowing. Clothes smell good when I take them in and put them on a hanger or fold them too.

I wash everything. I've seen what they use for 'dry cleaning' - and I don't want that stuff against my skin.  Wool - sheep really don't mind the rain - think of Scotland and the fogs and rain.  Wash in warm water, with a gentle soap, and rinse, rinse, rinse, then squeeze and lay flat, - or hang out in the shade.  Silk - wash before you sew it.  Dip in tepid water and rinse well.  It's now ALL WATERSPOTTED - so you won't ever have a problem. I do press them with steam - but good silk is pretty tough.

Even sheets and pillowcases come off the line like they've been steam pressed.  [I use all cotton] 

I know many of our young folks have never used a clothesline, but then, we all have to learn to use new things. Try it. You might like it.   ;)
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Offline Susan in Tucson

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Re: fabrics that don't wrinkle
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2007, 09:44:46 PM »
judic, I certainly agree with you about the wonderful fresh smell of line-dried clothes!

Many years ago I lived in a neighborhood that permitted clotheslines. Unfortunately, since then, I have lived in places that have zoning restrictions or other rules forbidding clotheslines. I suspect this is the case for a lot of Americans these days. It's better to have the choice (and whose business is it what you do quietly in your backyard anyway??).

Offline peter

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Re: fabrics that don't wrinkle
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2007, 03:15:14 AM »
I heart clothines bigtime.

OK, guess my age.  When I was young enough to remember anything, we had a clothesline, an incinerator and a chicken coup in the backyard.  This is LA.  Mom had an "automatic" washer that you had to wheel to the faucet to fill.  It mushed the clothes around then the water drained out of a hose at the bottom and you put the clothes through the ringer.  We got a modern washer and dryer when I was 3 or 4?  They were Norge's.  I remember that they had red plastic N's that lit up when they were on and I liked looking at those in the dark.   

I was just at HomeDepot 3 days ago and had in my hand the pulleys you use for those looped clothes lines like we see between brownstones in NYC.  I put them back as I've got another project underway and have learned that I can't buy for "future" projects.  I have a garage filled with "future" projects.  I had a line set up here but had to take it down a couple of years ago.  I want you all to know the guilt I'm ridden with when I use my dryer on a hot dry day.  And we have a lot of them here.  It does seem absurd not to use a clothesline out here in the west, especially.  I guess the wind/breeze softens the fabric.  I find my cottons rather stiff off the line vs. very soft from the dryer.  I don't mind the stiffness, really and I never use clothes softener.  I like to feel the texture of the cloth.  Give me spots on my apple for saving the birds and the bees... kinda thing.

This discussion reminded me for this well know architectural rendering by Ralph Rapson in 1945.

We see the husband  taking off for the office in his helicopter while his wife hangs out the laundry on the line.  One architectural critic, Esther McCoy, said something about "man betting his money on the wrong machine".

Judic, having a clothline in Tucscon would make you an outlaw?  That's crazy, considering the climate.

Back to the original question for a second.   ;)  Another suggestion.  I have the Bernina Superpress 050.  It's a steam generator type.  The iron itself is extremely lightweight.  The steam comes from a separate unit and it does a great job of removing wrinkles without much elbow grease. 
"If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito."

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Offline fzxdoc

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Re: fabrics that don't wrinkle
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2007, 01:29:20 PM »
Peter I love reading your reminiscences. When I was growing up our back yard looked like yours except there were more chicken coops and farm animals. I can just imagine how kewl it was for a child to watch a big glowing red "N" in the dark while that Norge worked away!

I couldn't live without my clothesline.  Sadly, it's inside, in the laundry room.  It holds all unmentionables (of course everyone mentions everything anymore, but I like the quaintness of that word) and stuff with lots of lycra in it, allowing those delicates to dry without electric intervention.  Plus, it's a great place to hang my yards of presoaked interfacings.

We're in the process of building a new home and I had to launch into a 20 minute soliloquy to browbeat the architects into putting a clothesline in my new laundry room.  It involved lowering the opening into a storage closet, which they didn't want to do, aesthetically (as in 7 foot door instead of 8 foot door or something like that).  As I said, I couldn't live without my clothesline.

Kathryn
« Last Edit: February 24, 2007, 01:32:00 PM by fzxdoc »

SewDisturbed

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Re: fabrics that don't wrinkle
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2007, 03:16:39 PM »
How about seersucker for summer sewing?  It doesn't wrinkle!  You can also get cottons with a tiny bit of poly and they won't wrinkle either.  I've made some heirloom dresses for a friend that's not to keen on ironing and rather than use the fancy batiste I used some with a little poly in it.  It was cheaper and she threw the dress in the washer and dryer (lace, embroidery and all) and it came out looking exactly the way it did when it went in!

Of course there are always knits.  They don't wrinkle either.

Offline Liana

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Re: fabrics that don't wrinkle
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2007, 05:15:50 PM »

 we had a clothesline, an incinerator and a chicken coup in the backyard. 


                                                    But was it a bloodless coup? :rotfl:

(Sorry, couldn't resist!)  ;D

Offline AnnRowley

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Re: fabrics that don't wrinkle
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2007, 06:57:28 PM »
                                     And I thought it was must be the American spelling... ;D





Offline LauraTS

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Re: fabrics that don't wrinkle
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2007, 07:00:11 PM »
I know many of our young folks have never used a clothesline, but then, we all have to learn to use new things. Try it. You might like it.   ;)

When we moved into our current rental, I tried to do some line-stringing in our backyard, but it'd never stay. I finally gave up and went for a portable folding clothes line thing, the ones that make a big 'umbrella' shape - which I had to get my parents to send me from Indiana, because I couldn't find any in the Bay Area. Ludicrous. And I know a lot of areas around here have zoning rules against clotheslines, like Judi mentioned. There seems to be some visceral dislike of hanging out clothes on the part of a lot of people; I don't know, I really enjoy it, and hang clothes out to dry whenever the weather can bear it.
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Offline peter

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Re: chicken coup
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2007, 07:33:25 PM »
Yes, unfortunately they were disgruntled guerrilla chickens bred by US Postal workers. :postal:  It was a special breed called Coup d'etat.  It was French name so we thought it sounded good.  Their uprising was eventually put down and a nice chicken pot pie was the final chapter. 

(If you're going to make a typo--ok spelling error....make it a good one!) :rotfl:
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Offline Loomchick

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Re: chicken coup
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2007, 07:52:18 PM »
Yes, unfortunately they were disgruntled guerrilla chickens bred by US Postal workers. :postal:  It was a special breed called Coup d'etat.  It was French name so we thought it sounded good.  Their uprising was eventually put down and a nice chicken pot pie was the final chapter. 

Love the thread . . . thanks for the laughs
Robyn

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Offline kaaren

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Re: fabrics that don't wrinkle
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2007, 10:26:18 PM »
I live in the NIMBYland of Palo Alto, so no permanent "solar dryer" things.  But Ii solved the clothesline problem buy getting one of those heavy duty retractable  lines like they have for undies in hotels.  I have the holder under the eaves and stretch the line to a tree.  There is sort of a locking mechanism on the holder.  I certainly can't do loads of laundry but it works for sheets, fabric and pillows.  I do live on a corner with a visible and lovely back garden...until I wash.  But sheets on a windy day are too good to miss.  Laura, where are you in the Bay Area?  And did you get to the Britex sale?  Kaaren 

Offline LauraTS

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Re: fabrics that don't wrinkle
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2007, 01:26:51 AM »
Peter, love it!  ;D

Kaaren, I'm on the Peninsula too. I didn't get up to Britex, no, although I heard about the sale - didn't get a chance to get up to the city. Are their sales good ones? (I was over at Stonemtn & daughter and Poppy the other week, so I needed to give my wallet a rest anyway.)
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Offline Lee K

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Re: fabrics that don't wrinkle
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2007, 05:31:03 PM »
Wool challis is washable; I wash Liberty 'Varuna' with no problems, and I've washed Viyella pure wool challis and several anonymous ones as well. Use cool water, shampoo or mild 'dark' detergent if you have no Eucalan.  The hand-wash setting on the front-load is perfect, because it doesn't agitate. Rinse well, use the very delicate or no-heat in the dryer. For yardage I let it dry completely in the dryer to pre-shrink; for finished garments I let them dry mostly, then take them out and hang them up. I treat gabardines and super 100-120's the same way, with no nasty surprises. To me, the great thing about hard-finished wools is that they wrinkle very little, and wrinkles tend to hang out. Polyester irritates my skin, so I use natural fibres whenever possible.
Lee

Offline gaylee1949

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Re: fabrics that don't wrinkle
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2007, 08:15:42 PM »
Thanks very, very much to everyone for their tips.  I truly appreciate it.  gaylee   :laugh:

 

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