Where can I find all-cotton wrinkle-free shirting fabric by the yard?
February 3, 2010 12:00 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find all-cotton wrinkle-free shirting fabric by the yard?

I would like to purchase "non-iron" or "wrinkle-free" cotton shirting fabric by the yard. This sort of fabric is the chemically treated cotton fabric used by retailers like Brooks Brothers in their non-iron shirts like this one.

I'm located in the San Francisco Bay Area and have been to a few stores like Britex and Michaels, but none carry non-iron cotton shirting fabric. I have, however, been able to find Chinese manufacturers online willing to sell this fabric by the bolt, but this is way more than I need.

Does anyone know of a fabric store selling this sort of fabric by the yard? Bonus points if it's in California, but I'd be grateful for any leads.

posted by dbolll to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Former apparel industry machinery executive here.

One of the reasons you may be finding it difficult to buy "no iron" shirtings at retail, is that many of the processes that create a "no iron" finished shirt product, do not begin with treated fabric. In fact, most of the "no iron" commercial processes for shirt products apply the anti-wrinkle resin, to finished shirts, in a wetting process just before they are hung and dried in a combination tunnel/ironing system, of industrial proportion. As this academic paper (.pdf file) shows, in comparisons of various wrinkle control technologies for shirtings, including the pre-cured fabrics you seek, the major problem with pre-cured fabric is that they don't easily accept creasing, which is a major downfall for commercial quality no-iron shirt operations, as it not only makes sharp plackets, vents, collars and cuffs impossible, but also results in poor quality performance of industrial sewing equipment, which depends on edge quality to maintain top stitch seam margins in collars, cuffs, hems, vents and plackets.

There is a such a low demand for pre-cure shirting fabric in the world, that I suspect you'd have a pretty limited selection of product, even if you were to commit to bolt quantities.

But good luck in your search, if you are not, in fact producing shirts.

If you are, however producing shirts, look, instead, for custom resin treating contractors, willing to run your production to confer "no iron" or "wrinkle free" qualities, post production in your facility. You may have additional shipping and run costs in short run production, but the results are vastly superior, for a commercial grade shirt product.
posted by paulsc at 4:20 PM on February 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, paulsc!

For background purposes, I'm trying to obtain non-iron treated cotton fabric to supply to a tailor to make custom shirts for me. Your comment about the poor performance of pre-treated fabric seems like a big reason why no one sells this for making shirts.

I should probably change my search to trying to find a resin treating contractor that deals in small lots.
posted by dbolll at 4:21 PM on February 24, 2010

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