No iron shirts, also known as easy iron or easy-care shirts, began to spread in the early 50s to provide men with an elegant and practical garment that required little (or no) ironing. No iron shirts are perfect for all those who travel frequently or have little time yet still want to show up an impeccable look on every occasion, especially in professional and formal contexts.
At the beginning, the treatment used to produce shirts able to keep an ironed appearance all day long required the use of chemical resins, a procedure that allowed to obtain good results but wasn’t able to let the fabric breath, with the risk of developing allergies and irritations.
Eventually, technological progress has provided us with new and innovative techniques that allow us to apply the easy iron features to all types of fabric, creating soft, comfortable, crease resistant shirts, while boasting a refined and elegant design.
Nowadays shirts are the must have item in any gentleman’s wardrobe. In this article we will see what no iron really means, which are the advantages that this feature provides to shirts and how to take care of our easy irons in order to get the best results.
What does no iron shirt mean
Let’s start with a clarification: easy iron, easy care or no iron indicate all the same thing. There are no differences between an “easy iron shirt” and a “no iron shirt”.
Whatever we want to call them, these shirts owe their characteristics to a special fabric treatment (finishing).
Once this treatment has been applied, the fabric is heated to allow the product to react with its molecules, which bind together so that they can no longer move to cause the dreaded creases.
Do easy iron shirts not require the use of an iron?
Shirts subjected to this process boast much higher resistance to creasing than untreated ones.
However, it’s not completely true that these treatments are able to eliminate the need to iron a shirt. You will always need the iron to eliminate 100% of the ripples.
Just think of the canvas contained in the collars and cuffs: they always need a quick ironing to look perfect.
The truth is that, if all the precautions are taken during the washing and drying of the garment, the no iron technology will allow you to obtain a shirt which is comparable to an ironing one.
Other features reducing susceptibility to creases
The finishing process described in the previous chapter can be achieved with different chemical products on all types of fabric. In addition to the treatment itself, there are also other factors on which the susceptibility to creases of a shirt can depend.
First of all, the type of shirt weave: poplin or linen garments are more difficult to iron and are the ones that benefit the most from the treatment.
While some other materials are already “easy iron”, bending little thanks to their natural characteristics, such as wool shirts.
Other features that make a difference in the crease resistance of shirts are the texture and weight of the fabric they are made of.
Simpler textures are more susceptible to creasing, while the lighter a fabric is, the better its resistance to creases (think how long it would take to iron the folds of your old denim shirt).
When to choose a no iron shirt
More in general, no iron shirts are perfect for all those who wear them frequently, as frequent use requires many washes and the usage of iron.
Choosing a no iron shirt mainly depends on utility and time saving. Thanks to the latest generation treatments, the quality of the fabric, together with its original characteristics, such as breathability and softness, remain unchanged during the process.
An example? Those who travel a lot and cannot always take their already-ironed shirts with them in the hanger and hang them in the car.
In this case, a no iron shirt can help you, as you just need to take the shirt out of the suitcase after the trip, hang it in the bathroom and take a nice hot shower, which can provide you relax as well as the steam needed to eliminate creases.
Once the shower is finished, you can add a final touch with the hairdryer, using the flat spout for an even more optimal result.
How to wash and hang no iron shirts
An easy iron shirt can be that versatile and elegant garment able to make our hasty lives a little bit easier.
Let’s see together some little yet useful tricks to get the most out of our no iron shirts.
Use a laundry bag and reduce the spin on your washing machine. Washing shirts without any protection can damage the garment or wrinkle it. Use a loose mesh bag and button up your shirts to prevent damage to the collar or sleeves when washing.
Furthermore, setting a reduced spin cycle allows the fabric to retain more moisture, lengthening the folds thanks to the greater weight thus obtained. For better results, when the shirt is not particularly dirty, you can skip the centrifuge and, once the cycle is finished, tap it gently before hanging it.
Beware of iron high temperatures
As we already said, easy iron shirts can also be worn without being ironed. But if you are looking for a 100% perfect appearance, it can be useful to quickly use the iron, especially for cuffs and collars.
Be careful and do not set the temperature of the iron too hot, as it could damage the garment. Low or medium temperatures are recommended for shirts subjected to the no iron treatment; anyway, always check the label before ironing.
It is better to avoid dry cleaning, often performed at high temperatures.
Hang shirts on wide hangers
You might be tempted to fold your no iron shirt and stack it in a drawer together with other clothes. Although this would allow you to save space, the pressure of the other garments will favor the creation of folds.
That is why it is better to hang our shirts on large hangers in order to mimic the shape of your shoulders and then pull and shake them with your hands to remove any wrinkles.
Finally, make sure that there is enough space between all the shirts in the closet, in order to avoid friction damage and let them breathe.
In this article we described the main features of no iron shirts, which are perfect for those who want to have an impeccable look without using the iron.
Easy iron shirts are an elegant and versatile garment that can make our life much easier and that cannot be missing in the wardrobe of any modern gentleman.