Published on October 18, 2012
“Non-iron” shirts have become an incredibly common wardrobe staple amongst our modern day society. Between commutes, a packed work and social schedule, and actually managing to get in those 8 hours (ideally) of sleep, squeezing in 15 minutes of ironing is nearly impossible. While the idea of a “non-iron” shirt is appealing for the sake of convenience, we’ve taken a different approach with our shirt construction. We want to produce the highest quality products, many of which are naturally wrinkle resistant, without chemically treating our fabrics.
While the idea of non-iron fabric holds initial attraction for various reasons, we’ve found that the process of actually producing this type of fabric is quite the opposite. Non-iron fabrics are treated with a chemical finish – a formaldehyde resin bath – that allows the strands of fabric to bond at a molecular level. While this process makes for a great end-result of a wrinkle-free shirt fresh out of the dryer, the fabric becomes less breathable, feels scratchier and stiffer to the touch, and continues to release low levels of formaldehyde throughout its lifetime. Surprisingly, we found that the United States does not regulate formaldehyde levels in clothing, and no government agency requires manufacturers to disclose the use of formaldehyde treatment on the garment label. While low levels of formaldehyde release from clothing will most likely never result in toxic harm, we’re not especially keen on the idea of treating fabric with the same chemical used during the embalming process.
Ledbury shirts are made with cotton spun from long-staple yarn, resulting in a higher quality fabric composed of fibers that are less prone to splitting or fraying. This quality gives the cotton a softer feel. (We know what you’re thinking - that little jingle, “The touch, the feel of cotton,” totally relevant.) We also use the finest Italian-woven 100 and 120 thread count fabrics on all our dress shirts and many of these shirts are woven as compact mid-weight twills, that make them naturally wrinkle resistant. This combination makes for the perfect storm of less time at the ironing board and formaldehyde free shirting. Key Words for Ledbury's Most Wrinkle-Resistant Styles: 2-fold Royal Twill, see The Red Starks Gingham Twill 2-fold Mid-Weight Twill, see The Navy Stripe Twill 2-fold Royal Oxford, see The Blue Royal Oxford 2-ply Oxford Cloth, see The Blue Oxford 2-fold 120 Twill, see The White Pinstripe 120 Brushed Oxford, see The Brown Callan