By  on May 19, 1994

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Producers of wrinkle-resistant fabrics must ensure quality results or the current trend in WR fabrics will fade, Richard J. Sussman, chairman, Sussman Automatic Corp., warned the industry.

"Some group is going to have to set standards for oven-curing times and temperatures for WR fabrics," Sussman told an American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists symposium. The symposium, held here last month, was titled "Wrinkle-Free Finishing of Cotton and Cotton Blends."

"Someone is going to have to set those standards," he emphasized. "Because until everybody has that information, there are going be improperly cured wrinkle-free garments and unhappy customers. And the whole WR movement, which is just beginning, could fail for the lack of simple information that we all need to know."

Sussman Automatic Corp. is a major supplier of curing ovens to producers of WR fabrics. Sussman told DNR that there is a danger to the whole WR movement even if only a small number of poor-quality garments are produced.

"We've got to be very careful that the quality standards are such that these wrinkle-free garments are really wrinkle-free and that they're not anything less, because if they get to the consumer and they don't perform, their lack of performance will wash over everybody," he said. "People aren't going to know where those pants came from. They'll just say the pants aren't any good and everybody will get a bad name."

Sussman said his company has sent letters to buyers of casual pants and shirts at every department store and chain store in the country "telling them what is needed to produce a quality wrinkle-free garment, and that anything less than that will not perform."

Thus far, Sussman said he is not getting much reaction to his call for setting standards in the finishing of post-cured garments. "The feeling I'm getting is that they are interested in getting the oven in quickly and starting to produce, but they're not paying attention to the basics. And, they've got to do their homework before they even get started," he explained.

Margit Machacek, merchandise evaluation manager for the men's division, J.C. Penney Co., also emphasized the need for quality in products supplied to the huge retailer.

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