Why can iron and dryer both make clothes with less wrinkles? Is there some physical or chemical process that smooths out the clothes?

  1. Which factor in a dryer that smooths out the clothes, rotation, heat, or something else?

  2. which factor in an iron that smooths out the clothes, press, heat, vapor or some water, or something else?

  3. Is it because of some common factor (e.g. heat) that makes a dryer and an iron smooth out clothes? Or is it because of some factor that belongs to a dryer but not to an iron, or to an iron but not to a dryer?


  • $\begingroup$ I'd guess heat and steam makes clothes soft (instead of elastic), and iron makes them flat. On the other gand, a dryer makes sure they dry in lots of different successive random shapes, while letting them dry statically keeps the wrinkles at the same place throughout the process. $\endgroup$
    – Nicolas
    Oct 7, 2015 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


Water on coton makes it smoother via small reorganisation, allowing to undo sharp folding marks. Then iron (or centrifugal force of the dryer, I guess) produce the mechanical shaping force taking advantage of this. I think that heat amplifies the action of water.


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