What makes a fabric form those annoying "pills"?

About 10-15 yers ago, I bought a pair of Champion sweat pants from
someplace like KMart. They were terrible. Almost immediately, they
started forming those little "pills" that look like tiny balls of lint
all over.
I guess I am a slow learner. A couple of weeks ago, I bought another
pair of Champion sweat pants. This time it was online. They are
already doing the same thing. They are constantly covered with little
pills. Drives me crazy.
What causes some fabrics to pill up? Or, more importantly, what should
I look for in a cotton fabric that will not do this. Clearly, Champion
products are inferior and I will stay away from them, but what do I
look for?
Thanks
Reply to
LurfysMa
Here you go:
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On Fri, 08 Jun 2007 17:15:58 -0700, LurfysMa wrote:
------------- "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." - Mae West
Reply to
IMS
On Fri, 08 Jun 2007 17:15:58 -0700, LurfysMa wrote:
My mother used to tell me that polycotton that was at least 60% cotton wouldn't pill. Since I can't stand any poly at all -- it "suffocates" me -- I have no recent experience to back this up.
Joy Beeson
Reply to
Joy Beeson
Does this mean that it's the polyester that's causing the pilling and something that is 100% cotton would be pill free?
I already ripped the tags out of these pants, so I don't know what the fabric is.
Reply to
LurfysMa
Probably not, I'm sure Kay will jump in here with a dissertation on long vs. short fiber cotton. IIRC, it's the lack of *quality* of the cotton fibers which cause pilling. At any rate, a simple solution (if you love the garment otherwise) would be:
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NAYY,
Beverly
Reply to
BEI Design
I take it the "pills" are made up of lint from the environment and not from the garment itself. Is that right? This pair of pants gathers so many pills so quickly that I would think it would vanish like the Cheshire cat if it were coming from its own fibers. ;-)
Reply to
LurfysMa
It's usually a blend that pills. At any rate, with a mixture of stronger and weaker fibers, the weak ones get lost in the laundry and by abrasion, leaving behind the stronger fibers with one end dangling free and getting into mischief by balling up.
Prevention? Dry cleaning helps, or avoiding blends.
Reply to
Kay Lancaster
wrote:
What is Pilling? What Do I Do About it?
=46ibers and Yarns
Pilling is an characteristic of any man-made fibers. Fabrics containing fibers such as acrylic, nylon, or polyester have a tendency to pill. Abrasion from normal wear and cleaning causes the fibers to unravel and the loose ends ball up on the fabric surface. Natural fibers like cotton, linen, or wool may also pill at times, but the balls of fibers are usually removed during laundering.
When short staple fibers are used in the formation of yarns, the degree of twist is another important factor. Tightly twisted yarns composed of short staple fibers are considered more secure than loosely twisted yarns composed of short staple fibers. Usually the higher the twist of the individual fibers, the moir=E9 securely they are bound and the less likely they are to pill.
Construction of the fabric
The construction of the fabric is also important in determining its susceptibility to pilling. A very tight, compact construction, such as denim, usually pills very little. However, a loosely knitted or woven fabric will show more pilling with both wear and cleaning. Pilling is often more noticeable on knitted fabrics, such as sweaters, than on wovens. Lint often becomes tangled in the little balls of fiber which makes the pilling appear more obvious.
Suggestions for minimizing pilling:
Turn susceptible garments inside out before laundering.=20 Load the washer loosely to provide free circulation and minimize abrasion on the garment.=20 Use a shorter wash time for permanent press, knits, and delicates unless they are heavily soiled.=20 Wash permanent press, knits, and delicates in separate load from articles that have a tendency to lint.=20 Use a fabric softener to reduce static and prevent lint from clinging to the fabrics.=20
Information taken from publications of the Soap and Detergent Association and the Maytag Consumer Education Department
Submitted by Sharon Stevens, HES Extension, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
-------------------- ---Irene ------------- "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." - Mae West
Reply to
IMS
This pair of pants started pilling within a day of wearing. Before they were ever washed. I pick off the pills and they are back in a matter of hours -- certainly within a day.
Reply to
LurfysMa
Definitely strong and weak fibers then. As the weaker ones are abraded, the stronger ones' free ends ball up.
Kay
Reply to
Kay Lancaster

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