Wrinkles on clothes are a nightmare, it takes ages to iron out all folds and creases, and tend to reappear upon the next wash. Wrinkles are an unsightly feature on clothes, and can be stubborn if formed in plenty. This feature on fabrics led to the advent and popularity of “wrinkle-free” clothing. However, before finding a solution to remove wrinkles one must understand the concept of wrinkle formation.
What causes wrinkles?
The main culprit in the formation of wrinkles in fabrics is the alteration of temperatures, and water. Upon washing a fabric, water alters the molecular binding within the fabric. The bond that holds the fabric in a particular shape is broken by the heat caused by the process of washing, tumble drying and rinsing. Once the clothes re taken out of the dryer, they must be immediately hung out to dry on the clothesline, or must be folded as soon as possible. Delaying the folding causes the heat to cool down, thus making the new bonds form stay in place, causing wrinkles, folds and creases.
How would steam help wrinkles disappear?
Steaming helps eliminate wrinkles by reversing the process that caused them in the first place. The heat and humidity produced by a shower steam act on the wrinkled fabric and soften the polymer bonds formed by the fabric molecules. This leads to opening up of the creases, making the cloth free from wrinkles. Ironing the fabric immediately after steaming would ensure a wrinkle free cloth. This is usually the principle used in dry cleaning of the clothes, where the shape of the fabric is not altered.
It is essential to ensure that the clothes are folded immediately after they are dried, so that the properties of the fabric are maintained.