Wrinkle-free packing tips

man wearing a wrinkled shirt

There are a few ways to approach the struggle to keep clothing wrinkle-free while travelling.

First, you could be proactive and try to avoid the problem before it even occurs by packing wrinkle-resistant clothing. It might sound excessive, but if you’re tossing up between two outfits, it’s definitely something to consider.

Technical or performance clothing made of synthetic fabrics such as polyester, spandex and nylon offer a multitude of advantages, with wrinkle resistance being one of the primary benefits. Typically, these pieces also have anti-microbial properties, quick-drying capabilities and moisture-wicking abilities.

If you prefer natural fabrics over synthetic ones, be sure to check the tags on your clothing to ensure it’s made of materials such as cotton or wool.

Natural fibres

By simply examining the fabric of an item, you can determine whether it’s prone to creasing during travel, even if it’s not explicitly marketed as wrinkle-resistant. Some natural fabrics that are less likely to wrinkle include:

  • Merino wool: this fabric is the ultimate choice for travel clothing as it insulates, breathes, fights odours and doesn’t wrinkle much.
  • Other wool blends: similar to Merino wool, other wool blends offer wrinkle-free qualities but without the same soft texture.
  • Denim: jeans and jeggings made with a little spandex can make excellent travel clothes. A blend with around 4 per cent spandex provides active stretch, but you can opt for higher percentages if you want to avoid wrinkles completely.
  • Blended fabrics: combining wrinkle-resistant fabrics such as polyester with natural ones such as cotton can be a great option. For instance, choosing a T-shirt made of a 60/40 cotton/polyester blend or a cotton/polyester/rayon tri-blend, will give you the wrinkle-resistance of polyester with a more natural feel.

If you’re looking for wrinkle-free travel clothes, steer clear of fabrics such as 100 per cent cotton and linen, which tend to crease easily. Although denim is made of cotton, its heavier weight helps to avoid the wrinkles commonly seen in cotton T-shirts.

While cashmere can also wrinkle when packed, the creases are likely to release when you hang your clothes for a few hours. Thus, cashmere may not be the best option straight off the plane, but it can still travel fairly well.

If you’re unsure whether a fabric is susceptible to wrinkling, conduct a simple test by taking a corner of the fabric and crushing it in your hand for 30 seconds. If the material doesn’t wrinkle or the wrinkles disappear after a minute, then you have a suitable option.

Packing techniques

There are also a number of packing techniques that promise wrinkle-free results. The easiest of these is to roll rather than fold your clothes. This works particularly well for soft clothing and can also save space in your luggage.

However, rolling isn’t a reliable method for certain types of clothing, such as button up or work style shirts. For these, we recommend folding your clothes with a piece of tissue paper in the middle. For extra protection, place a sheet of plastic around or between each item of clothing. While this may seem excessive, the plastic and tissue paper reduce friction, which is the cause of wrinkles.

But what if you’ve arrived at your destination, and the wrinkles have appeared despite your packing efforts? You can either try to find a steamer or iron handy, or you can take a more low key approach. Steam is known to relax wrinkles, so hang clothing in the bathroom when and after you shower to help relax those creases.

Alternatively, you could buy and apply a wrinkle spray on your clothes after you arrive at your destination. Or dampen your clothes slightly with warm water using a wet towel and hang them up upon arrival.

Would you try these methods of wrinkle reduction? What techniques and tricks do you use? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: Eight tips to keep your packing light on your next holiday


Written by Ellie Baxter

Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.

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