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
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
On Fri, 08 Jun 2007 17:15:58 -0700, LurfysMa
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.
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
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:
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. ;-)
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.
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
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
University of Missouri-Columbia
"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough."
- Mae West