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I iron all of my non-iron shirts. I find that they just look sloppy without it, regardless of how I dry them (dryer or line). The non-iron properties really just keep the shirt looking neat during the day and when traveling.
 

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I have a steam-dryer closet for my shirts, the non-iron shirts come out looking like they've been pressed, and the non-non-iron shirts come out looking like they've been quickly ironed. The steam doesn't seem to hurt the non-iron shirts, but I've heard they don't last as long as shirts made from the regular material.
 

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This thread raises an interesting question, which basically the original poster implied. What is the exact difference between 100% cotton no-iron cloth vs. needs to be ironed cloth? Are there differences in the cotton thread or the weave of the material, or is it some sort of chemical coating or additive?

It seems that most of the no-iron shirts I've seen don't give a thread specification (100s, 120s, etc.) Is this in any way related to the no-iron feature?

EDIT: Just googled this, and then found Consumer Reports did a review of wrinkle-free shirts in their March 2007 issue. I have the issue, and they quote someone from JC Penney who said that they soak the fabric in formaldehyde and press it flat. This makes a molecular change in the material so that it remains mostly wrinkle free. However, they also say that this makes the fabric more brittle, so its life expectancy may be cut by 25%.
 

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This thread raises an interesting question, which basically the original poster implied. What is the exact difference between 100% cotton no-iron cloth vs. needs to be ironed cloth? Are there differences in the cotton thread or the weave of the material, or is it some sort of chemical coating or additive?

It seems that most of the no-iron shirts I've seen don't give a thread specification (100s, 120s, etc.) Is this in any way related to the no-iron feature?
I beleive it is due to a chemical coating of the cotton which is why it is not permenant - most advertise up to 50 washes. In the better shirts each fibre is treated and then the final cloth in the cheap ones just the final cloth is treated which is why these don't last as long.
 

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Because non-iron shirts are coated with formaldehyde, it makes me hesitant to wear them. But because the coating affects the feel of the shirt, a high thread number would be a waste. And higher thread numbers also wrinkle more easily, so making them crease resistant would be less effective. If you want a high quality fabric, non-iron treatment doesn't make any sense.
 

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Because non-iron shirts are coated with formaldehyde, it makes me hesitant to wear them. But because the coating affects the feel of the shirt, a high thread number would be a waste. And higher thread numbers also wrinkle more easily, so making them crease resistant would be less effective. If you want a high quality fabric, non-iron treatment doesn't make any sense.
Where did you hear this bit about formaldehyde?
 

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Interesting. I will read up on this. Do you all consider this a health risk? Is this the reason why you're hesitant to wear non-iron shirts?
The health risk isn't the main reason I don't like Non-iron shirts. I just don't like the feel. From what I gather, Brooks Brothers is the only decent maker of non-iron shirts, and I don't care much for their style.
 

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For what its worth I recently picked up a couple of BB non-iron shirts and was given advice on maintaining them. The salesman said that they should never go to the dry cleaners because that will ruin the wrinkle free aspect of the shirt over time. Also he recommended that the shirt be washed and hung to dry and then steam the collars to make them crisp. I have always followed a similiar process by washing them giving them about three good shakes and hanging them up right away to dry. With this precess I never had a problem and my collars were always fine. Last week I bought a steamer and used it on the shirts and found that it does help with making the shirt more crisp. Still the steaming could be skipped as the shirt is not wrinkled when its dry.
 
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