Small, unsightly pellets can form on almost any fabric. They appear due to the fact that individual fibers are knocked out of the main material and entangled with each other, forming a kind of ball. However, there are some ways to prevent pilling on your clothing. If you've noticed that pellets form on many of your wardrobe items, it is probably wise to pay attention to purchasing items from materials that are less prone to this problem.
Method 1 of 3: Prevent Pilling While Wearing Clothes
Step 1. Don't cover things up
Wearing clothes intensively can lead to pilling, especially if you do not take breaks from using them. To prevent this from happening, allow any item to rest for at least 24 hours after wearing it so that it can return to its original shape before you wear them again. This applies to sweaters, shirts, pajamas and other items.
If you constantly wear the same clothes, pills can form on them, because in this case the clothes stretch more. Due to the stretching of the fabric, shorter fibers are knocked out of the material, and then they begin to get tangled together
Step 2. Don't wear backpacks
Backpacks cause pellets to form on things as they create additional friction as you move. Clothes that come in contact with the backpack may become lumpy on the back, shoulders and armpits.
Instead of a backpack, use a regular bag that you can carry in your hands, a briefcase, or a suitcase on wheels
Step 3. Don't carry bags over your shoulder
Bags with shoulder straps can also cause friction and pilling, especially on the shoulders. If you are worried about the possibility of pilling on your clothes, carry the bags by hand and do not use the shoulder straps.
Pilling can be caused by bags or any other accessories with shoulder straps
Step 4. Reduce friction
Fabrics that are prone to pilling should not be allowed to rub against themselves, other fabrics and other materials. Certain actions always cause friction and abrasion of fabrics and should therefore be avoided. Including you can not:
- put your elbows on the table while working and eating;
- scuffle your feet on the floor (this leads to abrasion of socks and trouser legs);
- crawl on your knees in trousers;
- sit on rough, rough surfaces.
Step 5. Don't rub stains
Often, the first reaction to spotting a stain on clothing is to apply a stain remover and wipe the stained area until the dirt disappears. However, such actions also cause friction and pilling and should therefore be avoided.
To remove stains from lint-prone fabrics, place the stained item on an old towel or clean rag. Apply the stain remover of your choice to the stain, then blot it with a clean towel. The stain, without any friction, will gradually transfer to the towel placed underneath
Step 6. Keep delicate fabrics away from Velcro fasteners
Velcro fasteners are very sticky and can cling to clothing fibers and various fabrics. When this happens, the fastener pulls shorter fibers out of the material, which can later be bundled into spools.
If you have Velcro fasteners on your garment, make sure that they remain fastened at all times, especially during washing
Method 2 of 3: Prevent Pilling During Laundry
Step 1. Turn garments inside out before washing
Spinning in the drum of the washing machine causes the fabrics to rub against each other, and because of this, pellets appear on them. To prevent unsightly pilling, turn garments inside out before putting them in the washing machine or washing them by hand.
- Pills may also appear on turned-out things, but they will be located on the seamy side, so they will not be visible.
- To prevent pilling, both outside and inside, items should be placed in the laundry net before placing them in the washing machine.
Step 2. Wash lint-prone items by hand
An alternative to the delicate cycle in the washing machine is hand washing, which may be the best solution for garments that are very liable to pilling. Wash items one at a time. To hand wash clothes and other items:
- Fill a sink, basin, or bucket with water (the temperature of the water should match the recommendations for washing the item).
- Add detergent and stir until lather forms.
- Soak the garment for at least five minutes.
- Rinse the item with soapy water, but do not rub the material itself.
- Remove the item from the soapy solution, rinse in clean water and squeeze out excess.
Step 3. Use an enzyme-based liquid detergent
Enzymatic detergents are capable of breaking down organic matter, including grass and blood stains, and they break down proteins and sugars found in natural fibers. When washing things with such means, enzymes are able to dissolve weak fluffy fibers, from which pellets can form.
- When choosing an enzymatic cleanser, look for ingredients such as cellulase, amylase, pectinase, and protease that break down sugars and carbohydrates, proteins and other molecules.
- Washing powders may be too abrasive. Liquid detergents are less likely to abrade items and reduce the formation of pilling during washing.
Step 4. Wash your garments on a delicate wash cycle
A delicate machine wash cycle is similar to hand washing and causes less friction on fabrics, thereby preventing pilling. This cycle rinses the garments less and rotates the drum more slowly, which reduces friction during washing.
Step 5. Hang things up to dry
A tumble dryer is another place where things bounce and rub against each other, so using a tumble dryer can also lead to lumps. For this reason, it is best to hang clothes, bedding, and other items to dry.
- In warmer months, to speed up drying, you can hang the laundry on a rope stretched outside.
- In the cold season, you can dry things at home, but at the same time open the windows to provide enhanced ventilation of the rooms and avoid excess air humidity.
Step 6. If you need a tumble dryer, set it to minimum heat
Sometimes there are situations in which you just need to use a dryer to dry things prone to pilling. Once in this position, set the dryer to the lowest temperature. This will help prevent shrinkage and minimize the negative effects of heat on the fibers of the fabric.
Remove items from the dryer as soon as they are dry to reduce the amount of friction they are subjected to in the dryer
Method 3 of 3: Buying non-pilling fabrics
Step 1. Do not buy fabrics that are most prone to pilling
Any fabric can become lumpy, but some fabrics are more prone to this. If you regularly have to deal with pilling on your clothes, try not to purchase items from fabrics that are most prone to pilling.
- Synthetic materials are more prone to pilling than natural fabrics. Synthetics such as polyester, acrylic and nylon often suffer from pilling.
- Blended fabrics of synthetic and natural fibers are also prone to pilling.
- Wool is one of the natural fabrics known for its pilling tendency.
Step 2. Tend to buy tightly woven fabrics
The looser the weaving or knitting of the fabric, the more the fabric is prone to pilling. This is due to the fact that in this case the fibers are more mobile and rub against each other more, which leads to the formation of pellets. Knits with a thin knit are more likely to suffer from pilling than knits with a tight knit.
- The less the fabric shines through, the tighter its weave.
- For example, jeans have a very tight weave and are almost never covered with pills.
Step 3. Choose fabrics with more threads per 10 cm of fabric
For some technical fabrics (for example, for bedding), the density can be measured by the number of threads per 10 cm of length. Usually, the higher the number of threads, the higher the quality of the fabric and the longer the fibers are used in it. The longer length of the threads means that fewer pellets will form on the fabric, since there will be no short fibers that will knock out of the fabric, entangle and form pellets.