What causes the top hem of a sheet to crease after washing and drying?

by Yaine
Every sheet set I have gets creases in the top hem of the top sheet. No amount of ironing takes out the wrinkles. Is there a solution? (Not sure this is a DIY question.)

  12 answers
  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on May 18, 2018

    Most sheets today are no ironing needed, just wash and dry. I have to admit I hang ours out on the line to dry and never a crease. Even in the dryer they don't crease, but we do use 2 tennis balls coated with diluted hair conditioner (as a fabric softener sheet substitute).

    Since you have ironed them, maybe the heat from the Iron has caused a change in the finish, making them more susceptible to creasing in that area. That would be my best guess.

  • Suelane Suelane on May 18, 2018

    I really have no answer, just an opinion - I think that the quality of the sewing causes this to happen. And it's not just a low price thing, higher priced sheets can do that, too. Perhaps when they fold over to make the top hem they do not make sure it is totally squared to the rest of the fabric so when it gets laundered it shifts and lays with wrinkles. I fold over the top hem when making the bed and then you can't see the wrinkles. Hope that helps.

  • Jean Jean on May 18, 2018

    I have no answer either, but this really bugs me. I've started tucking the hemmed end under the foot of the mattress. Even very expensive sheets do this and it ruins the look. My old sheets even tear on the crease lines after years of use, just when the sheet is old enough to be really soft.

    • Yaine Yaine on May 19, 2018

      I agree! Another person said to open the seam and put iron-on fabric stabilizer. I don’t remember what it is called. Then sew the seam back up. I may do that.

  • 27524803 27524803 on May 18, 2018

    Most of the problem comes from the fabric manufacturer winding the fabric onto a roll... it stretches the fabric and makes it slightly crooked... (to see what I mean... take a look at a bolt of fabric in the store.. one side is always slightly off)... The manufacturer of the sheets, usually do not take the time to "pull" the warp and weft of the fabric square before cutting.... and the hems are not usually pressed before stitching..... Also... the pressure foot on the sewing machine and the feed-dogs underneath are pulling in opposite directions.. to the fabric layers scoot in opposite directions... just try hemming a curtain, skirt or pants... to see this happen.... and no matter how much you pin or baste can avoid it. There are special sewing machine feet that do lift with every stitch.... but... you cannot sew very fast with them... and most manufacturers want speed... above all other considerations... especially for the more inexpensive stuff.

  • Saz27505508 Saz27505508 on May 19, 2018

    open the hem seam across the sheet and sew or glue seam stffening fabric inside the hem to keep it from shifting, re glue or sew and it will stay smooth for yrs; costs very little for the nice look it gives you.

  • Alan Alan on Sep 19, 2022

    I have only had this problem since owning a horizontal mounted tub … period. Never a problem with traditional agitator vertical drum washing machine. The facing on the flat sheets of all the sheets since then have gotten permanent creases in them. No amount of ironing (even when coming straight out of the washer) has put a dent in this problem.

  • Janet Stewart belew Janet Stewart belew on Jul 15, 2023

    I am so glad to hear someone else is trying to deal with this wrinkled hem stuff. Especially the person who talked about how after a few years the wrinkles starts to make tear marks. I've had the same problem on my nice sheets. The only thing that seems to help is to spray a lot of spray starch on it and then steam it with your steam iron. But frankly I don't want to go through all that work. I don't remember years ago the Hem's doing that. I guess I'll just have to live with that and be grateful I have clean sheets.

  • Janet Stewart belew Janet Stewart belew on Jul 15, 2023

    Thanks for talking about this problem I thought I was the only one. Maybe it's just the cotton sheets I don't think Polly cotton sheets do that but I don't like poly cotton sheets

  • I think it's because they're cotton. I've had microfiber sheets and they never did that.

  • Deb28170896 Deb28170896 on Nov 30, 2023

    I think there's a general lowering of standards in the manufacturing, sewing and quality control.

    Here's two pillow cases both 100 % cotton, washed together. The green one is newish - washed 4-5 times and it's not only creased but coming apart. (Target). The other is much older and probably washed 50+ times. The older one has a deeper hem, no creases and feels softer. Unfortunately there's no brand label.

  • Mogie Mogie on Dec 01, 2023

    It's likely because the sheets twisted up in the dryer. It's pretty common for folks to pull their sheets off of their bed, roll them up, and toss them into the washing machine. The agitation process can also cause the sheets to twist and bunch up.

    Adding tennis balls to the dryer will keep sheets, jeans, and t-shirts circulating so there's never a chance for wrinkles to set in. Just be sure to remove the linens and clothing as soon as the cycle is done since wrinkles will develop as the fabric cools down.

  • Deb K Deb K on Dec 01, 2023

    Hi Yaine, hop[e this helps you. The fabric is washed or dried at a too high temperature. Using excessively high heat to wash and dry natural fabrics like cotton, linen, rayon or bamboo can cause the creases to occur. You could try starching them before you wash them on cold, try to iron the hem before drying them on low heat.