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Sanforization – the history

The sanforization process was invented in 1930 by the American Sanford Lockwood Cluett, from whom it takes its name; Cluett was a businessman but also a great inventor, well known above all for this process. In fact he had over 200 patents, including the Cluett paper and the famous sextant a very important navigation instrument; Cluett, also developed agricultural machinery and furthermore he founded Cluett Peabody and Company Inc. in New York, a company which produced shirts.

sextant - sanforization

The process of sanforization

Sanforization is a combined mechanical and thermal process; the machine forces the fabric to shrink in length by bringing the threads closer together, the process consist of a series of operations such as washing, pressing, drying and finally a chemical treatment.


This treatment improves the dimentional stability of the fabric, mostly  lengthwise but also slightly in the width; the obective is to keep the fabric stable,  this is achieved  because of the compactment of its fibers , their closeness prevents warping. The Sanforization process is used mainly on woven fabrics; likewise it can  be used on knitted fabrics such as viscose, micromodal and also some lightweight knitted fabrics; in this case, however the results are lower than the woven fabric,  due to the natural elasticity of the knit.

The Results of sanforization

The fabric after the completion of the Sanforization process should not have shrunk by more than 1 %; this result is fundamenatal to guarantee a perfect fit and even after washing the woven garments should remain stable. This process is used above all for  high quality mens  shirts and classic boxers made in a woven fabric

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