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Smoothing Out the Formaldehyde Wrinkle

Cotton Incorporated introduces PUREPRESS™ technology for cotton fabrics

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Cary, North Carolina

Cotton Incorporated today introduces PUREPRESS™, a durable press technology that keeps clothes wrinkle- and formaldehyde-free. The technology utilizes ready-available chemistries in a patent-pending combination that performs as well as, or better than conventional resins. Information on PUREPRESS™, is available at Cotton Incorporated Booth #53095 at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Denver, CO or visit

“Cotton Incorporated researchers are constantly looking for sustainable and innovative ways to increase the appeal of cotton to industry and consumers,” says Mary Ankeny, vice president, product development and implementation operations for Cotton Incorporated. “PUREPRESS™ is a response to those manufacturers and brands that want an effective durable press finish without formaldehyde.”

Cotton is a water-loving fiber and its natural absorbency can lead to wrinkles when the fabric is dried and the hydrogen bonds break and reform in different configurations. In the 1900’s, wrinkle-resistance chemistry was introduced and used formaldehyde containing resins to crosslink (or give memory to the fibers) and hold those bonds in place keeping fabric smooth. Formaldehyde is a naturally- occurring substance found even in apples. However, some global health organizations have identified significant exposure to formaldehyde as a probable carcinogen.

Cotton Incorporated PUREPRESS™ technology uses widely-available chemistries in a patent-pending combination that:

  • Creates smoothness equal to that of conventional resins;
  • Removes byproduct effects of formaldehyde;
  • Improves tensile strength, tear strength, and abrasion resistance; and
  • Does not promote yellowing, shade change, or cause odor.

Two responses to the Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor™ survey of consumers indicates that PUREPRESS™ is just what they are looking for:

  • 77% of U.S. consumers agree that better quality garments are made from all natural fibers, such as cotton;
  • 56% of U.S. consumers are very or somewhat likely to pay more for clothing with wrinkle-resistant properties.

Ankeny explains that there is an added bonus to the technology: “Traditional durable press resins incur strength losses which have not mixed well with lighter weight fabrics, but the PUREPRESS™ technology works incredibly well with these finer constructions.”

About Cotton Incorporated
Cotton Incorporated, funded by U.S. cotton producers and importers of cotton and cotton textile products, conducts worldwide research and promotion activities to increase the demand for and profitability of cotton.