What is Pilling?

Pilling is a phenomenon that occurs when small balls of tangled fibers form on the surface of a fabric, caused by friction and wear. This unsightly fuzz can be found on fabrics made from natural fibers like wool, cotton, and silk, as well as synthetic fibers such as polyester and nylon.

Several factors can contribute to pilling, such as the type and quality of fibers, the construction of the fabric, and how the fabric is used and cared for. Fabrics with longer, finer fibers are less prone to pilling because they're less likely to break and form loose fibers. Conversely, fabrics with shorter, coarser fibers are more prone to pilling.

The construction of the fabric also plays a role in its tendency to pill. Loosely woven or knitted fabrics are more susceptible to pilling than tightly woven or knitted fabrics. Fabrics with a higher thread count are also less likely to pill.

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent or reduce pilling. Choosing high-quality fabrics with longer, finer fibers is one way to reduce the likelihood of pilling.

Proper care also helps, such as washing the fabric in cold water, avoiding fabric softeners, and not overloading the washing machine. To remove pills from the surface of the fabric, a fabric shaver or pill remover can be used.