Pilling – What Is It and How Do I Get Rid of It?

15 Jul, 2012

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Pilling of a fabric occurs when groups of short or broken fibers on the surface of the fabric become tangled together in a tiny ball called a pill. Pilling results from rubbing (abrasion) of the fabric during normal use or improper laundering. Bad (short-staple) cotton can also be a major factor. While pilling cannot be eliminated completely, it can be minimized by proper handling during washing of the fabric. Use a slower agitation and a shorter wash cycle. And, remove the garment from the dryer as soon as it is dry.

To remove any pills on fabric, pull the fabric taut over a curved surface and carefully cut off the pill with scissors or shave the fabric surface with a safety razor. There are also battery operated pill removers, which shave the pills much like an electric razor. However, it’s important to understand that once you remove the pills, they can come back. So you may find that you’ll have to remove pills from time to time to keep your garment looking fresh.

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