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Deep Creases in bed sheet

Posted by livebetter (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 8, 11 at 9:20

Does anyone else have this problem??

These sheets start out flat. I keep getting deep creases along the top edge of my top sheets. You can iron them but they are always still visible and when using them on the bed the creases become more pronounced. After washing the crease is deep again.

Some sheets worse than others. The only one that doesn't do it is a no iron set from LE.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Deep Creases in bed sheet

Yep. I've got it too. I would love to hear if anyone has any ideas for getting rid of the creases (other than ironing, which is a drastic measure as far as I'm concerned).


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RE: Deep Creases in bed sheet

Solutions: (none of which will be popular with most people these days)

Line dry and finger press the still-wet fabric along the creases;

Light starch and iron, at the very least over the most- likely creased area along edges of sheet, including selvedges;

Do both of these from first use, before the creases start to become "set-in" because afterward the creases will continue to reappear because wear friction along them has worn the fabric thinner, making the fold persistent;

Eventually (after abouut 150 washings) overall wear will soften the sheet so that creases will not form as easily and you can skip the ironing;

Machine drying may excerbate the problem if the sheet hems were not originally perfectly aligned across the grain of the weave:

Only buy sheets with about 200-250 thread count percale, with high number of plies of long staple, fine cotton. As far as I know sheets like this are no longer commonly available except as NIB estate items. The trend towards high thread count sheets made of lower quality cotton has degraded the market.

L


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RE: Deep Creases in bed sheet

Liriodendron, thanks for the solutions. All of my sheets are 200 to 250 count percale from Egyptian cotton - I like the crispness of lower count sheets. I ironed my sheets this morning (horrors:) and the sheet that has the worst creases was, as you said, cut a bit "off"- not perfectly straight with the grain of fabric. My sheets with the worst creases are also my newest ones, which are really nice Sferra sheets so I am willing to put some effort into rehabbing them. My plan is to line dry them from now on, trying to work on the creases as they dry, and then iron them to see if I can "re-set" the creases a bit.

Thanks for the help.


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RE: Deep Creases in bed sheet

If the sheets are not hemmed straight across the grain (a common event these days), you can improve things a bit with some careful work to unpick the existing hem, straightening the hem-fold accross the grain, then re-hemming it. Getting the existing tiny hem stitches out w/o damaging the sheet takes good eyes and steady hands. Small losses to hem depth required to straighten it are usually neglible. Or you can wait to do this until it's time to turn the sheets top-to-bottom by exchanging the hems in order to even the wear over the long run. (For me that's somewhere between 75-100 washings.) Hemstiching and embroidery over the hem seam make this impossible, of course.

Egyptian cotton has a lovely hand to it, but I'm not sure it's the best material for sheets. Because sheets are such large swaths of cloth I think the fineness that makes it lovely to touch also makes it more likely acquire these annoying folds.

When hanging the sheets go to some trouble to hang them squarely so you don't add any bias-pull to the mix. I hang mine from the hem edges, each edge attached to an adjacent line, in a U-shape to add the effect of gravity to counteract creases. I pin the edges fairly taut and evenly folded over to discourage the creases (don't fold an incipient crease over the line, choose another position).
If your clothes line stays out all the time, it may help to run a damp cloth along it before hanging to remove any dust or dirt which can mar perfectly clean sheets. And don't forget to run your fingers over the selvedge edges to flatten any folds out lest they start to get their own annoying creases. Those creases will shorten the life of the sheet by damaging the edges.

BTW, The principal current source of NIB, pre-1960 sheets is eBay. I've acquired a life-time supply, but I still see them regularly. (Be warned: many sellers don't know the difference between muslin and percale, so you must know what the correct labels would look like and not rely on the description.)
HTH,

L


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RE: Deep Creases in bed sheet

I have 800 TC sheets that very closely approximate what my grandmother had when I was growing up. I inherited all her old sheets but they'll all for Full size beds and I have queen and king. Just don't have the heart to destroy them by sewing them all together into a correctly sized sheet set.

My sets are from India and Italy. Very nice stuff and they still look and feel new after 8 years.

BUT... they also have this dreaded creasing problem! And what others said is true - it's caused by the hems not being perfectly in line w/ the grain of the fabric.

I mitigate it by de-setting the creases as I would do for sewing. I take the wet sheets and use a warm iron or shirt presser to completely iron them dry them from wet to flat and straight. Then I go back with a hot iron and set them flat. It has to be redone about every 3 washings depending on how religious I am about getting the sheets out of the dryer at the end of cycle.

I'll deal with creased sheets before I'll line dry them! :D But with a shirt presser (also inherited), I can knock out a set in about 5 minutes.

- IT Geek


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RE: Deep Creases in bed sheet

I have this problem with my men's handkerchiefs too. My solution will be to get 60 polyester 40 cotton sheets like we always used in the good old wash-n-wear days. Yes they eventually get to feel like sleeping on plastic, but in my book, the smooth sheets right out of the dryer are worth it. I still have one bottom sheet that is part poly and it is still nice. Once the wrinkles set in, all the advantage of cotton sheets goes away in my book. In the old days, (1930's and 1940's)there were large laundries in my home town that had huge mangles to press sheets flat for a price. Those could be all cotton.


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RE: Deep Creases in bed sheet

nerdyshopper, in some European countries the commercial mangles are still widely used. My parents live in Poland where the custom is to launder your sheets and tablecloths at home, hang them to dry (virtually nobody owns a clothes dryer there) and when they are dry you bring them to the mangle where they press them (and starch them, if you want) and fold them neatly. I have to admit that I hand iron all my pillow cases and duvet covers because I just love that smooth ironed feel I grew up with. And I don't use flat sheets, just cotton duvet covers that get changed and washed as often as the sheets get changed and washed.

My husbands handkerchiefs are soft from repeated washings and they get ironed too (as do my tea towels).


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RE: Deep Creases in bed sheet

liriodendron, here's a crazy question ... how to I find the grain of the fabric. I'm willing to undertake this task on a set of my favorite sheets. I'm a pretty basic sewer so not sure how to go about doing this correctly.

Thanks for any advice.


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RE: Deep Creases in bed sheet

. . .how to I find the grain of the fabric?

If you're working with a raw edge, like after you have undone the hem, there are two methods.

The first: pull a thread carefully all the way across the width of the fabric. Good sheets are woven so tightly, that this might be a challenge.
The second: make a slight snip with scissors and tear it. See video linked below. At around 1:45 she demonstrates this.

I haven't seen many sheets that are 'on grain' anymore. A lot of fabric, even for sewing, is off-grain and some are impossible to straighten out. Quality control has gone out the window in most manufacturing because it costs money.

As for pressing out the creases, mist the crease with vinegar & water before ironing. V:W 1:3 or 1:4 should be more than enough vinegar. You can always start with less vinegar and add it.

Here is a link that might be useful: finding the cross-grain


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RE: Deep Creases in bed sheet

Thanks @ Cavium. What does the vinegar do? I pressed a seam out of my son's sheet tonight while sheet was still damp from washer. It looks better but I can still see where it is - it will work itself back as he sleeps with it.

I watched a video on fine linens and they were saying WHERE fabric is woven is one of the top 3 important points. Saying that Italy is considered the finest weavers in the world. They recommended Egyptian cotton, weaved in Italy. They said after that, thread count is a preference.

You can have a high thread count sheet but if it's not well woven - I guess that's where the problems come in.


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RE: Deep Creases in bed sheet

"What does the vinegar do?"

@livebetter - The vinegar & water is an old trick when lowering a hem in order to press out the previous hem crease. As far as the physics or chemistry of why it works, I do not know.


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RE: Deep Creases in bed sheet

Livebetter,

The thread pulling technique may or may not work on sheets as percale is pretty tightly woven. If you are patient, though and have good light and maginification to pick up broken threads, you'll be OK.

Another way to sqaure up sheets in cases where they are really crooked is to remove the hems and carefully press the sheets flat, then trim off any out of square excessess and re-hem. This won't produce as perfect a cut line as cutting along a pulled thread, but it might make enough of a difference to be worth the trouble.

If you decide to tear the sheet, after pressing it to determine which side is the "high side", snip on that side and rip across.

I would only try the tear method is you are postive that you are headed across the sheet. This can only be known if you are starting with proper selvedge edges on unhemmed (long) sides. Many looms are so wide these days that some sheet materials are hemmed on all four sides. If yours are that way, there's no way to be sure they were cut to run along the grain and not cut scross.

Unfortunately the vinegar and water trick will not work if the creases are too worn in already by being folded over many times. In that case the threads are actually damaged and will continue to try to bend over along the fold. If you take your sheets apart and feel that the foldlines are too persistent, you could insert a piece of very lightweight interfacing within the hemmed area. I would slipstich the interfacing to the part of the hem folded towards the bottom side of the sheet. Be sure the interfacing can take the temps and vigor of sheet washing regimens -- some are synthetic and don't wash and dry well.

If your sheets are plain, the easiest thing might be to just reverse the top and bottom hems (the bottom hem has much less wear on it, meaning fewer fold lines.) While you've got it apart try to even up the ends as much as practical.

HTH,
L


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RE: Deep Creases in bed sheet

Thanks @ liriodendron! I'll see what I can do.

In the meantime, there is a "high end" linen shop in the city and I'm heading there this week to pick up some new sheets. They work with Italian weavers to acquire their Egyptian cotton percales and they sew them here (Canada) in their Quebec manufacturing facility. I'll speak with them about these creases but I'm hoping their sheets won't have them. They seem like they take great care in producing high quality items.

They also carry a line of Egyptian cotton percales woven in Israel but also sewn here in Canada that is more affordable (hopefully still very good quality) that I'll consider for my kids' beds.

I'm so tired of these ugly sheets! I don't mind ironing pillow cases and the top of the top sheet so things look nice and crisp but not when they end up looking worse than crumpled.


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RE: Deep Creases in bed sheet

Seriously? Ironing sheets? Not in this lifetime.


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RE: Deep Creases in bed sheet

@ caryscott, to clarify, I don't iron the whole sheet but I do iron the pillow cases and the top edge of the top sheet. This just makes beds look so much nicer. I've seen them unironed and it's pretty messy looking. To each their own :)

I iron my tea towels too but that's another story ...


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RE: Deep Creases in bed sheet

I received a personal reply tonight from the "high end" linen retailer I mentioned earlier. I asked her about these creases and (much like already mentioned) she said this about them:

" those creases are from the cases and flat sheets actually being cut unevenly. So if they are not cut straight (usually the result of how the fabric is rolled onto the roll by the weaving mill) then they will be sewn crooked as well.

There's not much you can do, but your best hope is to get the headers REALLY wet when you're ironing, and it should help considerably (use spray bottle.) If the sheets are a great quality, may as well just focus on how much you enjoy sleeping on them!"

I've asked her if her sheets woven in Italy and sewn here in Canada would be straight (therefore avoiding the darn creases). We shall see ...


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