Sustainable care of textile products and its environmental impact: Tumble-drying and ironing processes

Changsang Yun, Sarif Patwary, Melody L.A. LeHew, Jooyoun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Despite the growing attention on sustainable consumption of textile and apparel products, little information is available for consumers guiding their decisions for sustainable consumption and product care. The objective of this study is to develop the logical processes to assess the environmental and economic impacts made by the textile product care and to measure the CO2 eq. and utility cost during drying and ironing procedures. Particularly, the influence of quick-drying property and durable-press finish on product care and their impacts on CO2 eq. and utility cost were evaluated. Results indicated quick-drying and hydrophobic fibers consumed less electricity during tumble-drying as it contained less amount of water after spinning for dehydration. A higher spin speed was favorable for saving energy during tumble-drying, as less water remained in wet laundry after spinning. While cotton fabrics were obviously wrinkled after laundering, a polyester/cotton blend in 65/35 with durable-press finish maintained smoothness grade 4 or 5 during ten times laundering period. With a conservative criterion where a grade lower than 5 needs ironing, a polyester/cotton 65/35 with durable-press finish was judged to need ironing once in two cycles of laundering. This can save about 64 % of utility and CO2 eq. that the cotton fabric would produce in the ironing process. It is anticipated that this study provides information that is useful to consumers in their decision making for sustainable consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-596
Number of pages7
JournalFibers and Polymers
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, The Korean Fiber Society and Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


  • CO equivalents (CO eq.)
  • Drying
  • Durable-press
  • Ironing
  • Monetary cost
  • Quick-drying


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