How to Prevent and Remove Pilling from Clothes?

Pilling on sweaters is a common problem we see in winter. When our sweaters got pills it looks bad and we try to remove those by pulling pills (tiny balls of fibres) by our fingers. But we see as much as you remove such pills, sweaters get more pills. Now the question is - how to prevent pill formation and how to remove the pills permanently from your clothes.

pilling on clothes


What is pilling in fabric?

Pills are groups of short broken fibres that tangle together to form a small tiny knot. This formation of pills is called pilling. It can also form due to rubbing and abrasion during wear.

How to prevent pilling?

You can follow the below guidelines to prevent pill formation in your clothes.

1. Buy Sturdy Fabric
It is better to buy sturdy, tightly woven fabric made with durable material to avoid pilling. It is found that knitted fabric pills more often than woven fabric.

2. Carefully sorting laundry
Washing delicate items with heavy clothing such as jeans in the same load increases the abrasion of fabric and hence increases pilling. Thus it harms the fabric.

3. Turn garments inside out during washing
It is better to turn the fabrics inside out, fastening zips and buttons during washing to reduce abrasion and in turn pilling.

4. Fabric softener
Fabric softener considerably reduces abrasion and makes the fabric soft. Hence pilling is minimized.

5. Overloaded machine
We should not overload the washing tub as this causes cramming of clothes and leaves very little space for the clothes to move and damages it.

6. Correct Washing settings
The choosing of the correct temperature of the water is necessary for avoiding pilling. Also, it is better to use the washer’s gentle cycle. The slower agitation and shorter wash cycle protect clothes.

7. Harsh Bleaching agent
We should avoid harsh cleaners and bleaching agents as they weaken fibres causing them to pill.

8. Carefully Drying

It is better to avoid the clothes dryer. It is better to line dry Woven fabrics and dry knitted fabrics on a flat surface.

How to remove pilling from clothes?

Once pills are already formed in your sweaters and clothes, it looks bad. Here are some ways to remove such pills from your clothes.

The most effective way of removing pilling is to use a fabric comb or a battery-operated pill and fuzz remover which pulls and shaves down the pills carefully from the garments.

If the above tools are not available we can also pull the fabric taut over a flat surface and carefully cut off the pills using scissors or safety razors.

References:

  • https://www.rd.com/article/how-to-de-pill-sweaters/
  • https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-prevent-clothes-from-pilling-2146667