Thread Number: 84699  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
What makes 'Knit' fabrics wrinkle-prone?
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Post# 1091432   9/30/2020 at 22:51 (908 days old) by toploadloyalist (San Luis Obispo, CA)        

As you amy recall, several vintage washer manufacturers added a special cycle for knitted fabrics which included a cool-down like for permanent press fabrics to prevent wrinkles. I was wondering about what makes knitted fabrics prone to wrinkle to necessitate a cool-down.

Post# 1091463 , Reply# 1   10/1/2020 at 07:40 (908 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I don't think that the fabrics were especially wrinkle prone, but they were, in the case of the notorious polyester double knits, fabrics that  needed warm temps to relax the wrinkles, but then needed to be cooled before the spin to prevent new wrinkles from being set into the fabrics IF A DRYER WAS NOT USED TO FINISH THE LAUNDERING PROCESS. The wash and wear and permanent press laundering process needed heat to relax the fabric fibers to eliminate wrinkles. If a dryer was used to supply heat to the fabrics, and the cycle ended with a cooldown, the washing process was not as important.  Knits could then either be treated as delicate fabrics or regular fabrics and washed on cycles without the post wash cooldown.


When I first was working up here, I had a colleague who was living in an English basement apartment with a WP portable set. She mentioned that her clothes were not shedding their wrinkles in the laundering process. She was from California and just out of graduate school and very environmental. I asked how she was handling them. She was washing everything in cold water in the winter in Washington DC where the tap cold temperature was in the 40s. She was drying in a 120 volt dryer that was not getting the fabrics warm enough to dewrinkle in the dryer.  I explained what I posted above and her results improved. 

Post# 1091603 , Reply# 2   10/2/2020 at 04:19 (907 days old) by toploadloyalist (San Luis Obispo, CA)        

It was in reference to the Whirlpool Knit Cycle (with single cool-down) from 1973-79, as well as 1980s era Maytags. For the latter with a speed selector switch, the cycle timer would read 'Delicates' for the 'Regular Fabrics' cycle, and 'Knits' in the 'Permanent Press' cycle, both at the lower wash time portions.

Post# 1091613 , Reply# 3   10/2/2020 at 06:58 (907 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

The knits and permanent press cycles were designed to give the best performance possible from the washer even if no dryer were used.

Post# 1092908 , Reply# 4   10/12/2020 at 03:34 (897 days old) by Kenmoreguy89 (Valenza Piemonte, Italy- Soon to be US immigrant.)        

kenmoreguy89's profile picture
Knits are knitted garments not made of wool. Delicate but stronger than woolens and knitted woolens.
Wrinkle free are the so called permanent press synth or blends once called washed and wear.
And about wash and wear Whirlpool back in the day made a kind of docunentary-commercial which gives and gave all the info needed about the special care requiref and advertising how whirlpool was pioneer in designing and implementing automatic wash and wear care cycles back when these fibers started.


Post# 1092910 , Reply# 5   10/12/2020 at 03:59 (897 days old) by Kenmoreguy89 (Valenza Piemonte, Italy- Soon to be US immigrant.)        

kenmoreguy89's profile picture
Knits are often made of synthetics or blends and require the same cool down care of synthetics.

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