What is Piling and Why Does it Happen?
Piling is the formation of tiny lint-like balls on the surface of fabrics. Over time individual fibers that make up a fabric will break down and begin to clump together to form firm balls of lint often referred to as “pills”. This process can happen to all sorts of garments ranging from everyday pants and T-shirts to bedding and comforters.
Some fabrics are more prone to piling than others:
- Shorter fiber fabrics are more prone to piling than longer fiber fabrics. Fabrics such as cotton, wool, polyester, and other synthetic fabrics are more prone to piling than longer fiber fabrics such as silk and linen.
- Loosely woven fabrics are more prone to piling than tightly woven fabrics. Fabrics that are loosely held together such as a sweater has more area for abrasion to occur and thus will pill more than a fabric that is more tightly held together.
How to Prevent Clothes from Pilling
There are various easy changes you can implement to your cleaning routine to reduce piling on your clothes.
Use A Gentle Wash Cycle: The less agitation there is in your washing cycle, the less fibers will break down. Use a short gentle cycle to cut down on the agitation.
Avoid Harsh Detergents: Harsh chemicals such as bleach can make fabrics more susceptible to breakage. If you want to reduce pilling on your special garments, wash your clothes with mild detergent.
Use Fabric Softener: Pilling can also be reduced with the use of fabric softener in your wash cycle. Fabric softeners will make fibers softer and smoother thereby limiting friction in the washing cycle.
Dry Your Clothes on Low Setting: Fibers become more brittle with heat. The best practice, to reduce pilling, is to use low heat drying or line drying your garments.
How to remove Pilling from Your Clothes
No matter how cautious you are in cleaning your garments, some pilling will inevitably form on your fabrics. There are two methods we recommend to remove this pilling on your clothes.
Use a Pumice Stone: A pumice stone is porous and light spongelike stone used as an abrasion tool. It can be very effective in removing pills from most fabrics. Lay your garment down on a hard flat surface and rub the pumice stone over pills in a circular motion.
Use a Fabric Shaver: The fabric shaver is the best option you have for removing pills. It has a low risk of damaging clothes and it’s quick and easy to use. If you can afford to invest in a good fabric shaver, it would be the best way to handle pilling. To use a fabric shaver, lay your garment down on a hard flat surface and run the shaver over pills in a circular motion. It is important to not push down on the fabric with your shaver but rather run the shaver over the surface of the fabric.
Don’t want to deal with the hassle of cleaning and de-pilling your garments? Magic Cleaners can handle it. Bring your garments into one of our stores or arrange for a free pick up & delivery.