Archive for February 8th, 2022


Not to be too melodramatic or anything, as Shakespeare can be daunting, and my post topic is anything but grandiose enough for Shakespeare.

But, dang. . . how often have you been wanting to shout out loud at those tiny “pills” that blemish your clothes. . . “Hence, be gone away”? Those ugly, annoying little fibers that pop up from the surface and form a tiny ball that begs to be cut off. However, carefully snipping off pill after pill of fiber. . . how long would that take you?

Just “give it away” is my philosophy. Extremely painful when I’ve paid an arm and a leg for said garment like one I purchased a few years back from a”hoity toity” catalogue and expected the best of quality. Much to my dismay, after just one wearing, the jacket was pilling here and there and everywhere.

I’m going here with this topic because it has “popped up” (pun intended) recently from many of you who shop our store. Jenny and I got a bit curious about what exactly causes pilling and if it means the garment is defective or less than stellar in quality.

And, much to our surprise. . . pilling is not a defect of said garment but a natural result of fibers that meet with friction in that they don’t get along with one another in a multitude of ways including our own daily ways of wearing and washing them.

Hence: up pops a pill!

Are you surprised with our research? Me too! I’ve always equated garments that pill with less than quality fabrics. Turns out that most all fabrics are prone to pilling and it has less to do with quality of the garment than one would think. Having said that, however, cheaper synthetic fabrics are known to pill more easily and often. Of course knit fabrics are more prone to pilling than their tightly woven counterparts. And clothes made from wool, cotton, polyester, acrylic, and other synthetics tend to develop pills more readily than silk, denim, or linen.


There are a few things you can do to remove pills from your garments and make them look new again.

Use a laundry detergent with cellulase (often labeled enzyme detergent) which is an enzyme that breaks down fibers to remove stains. But this ingredient goes beyond stain-fighting, as it can also help loosen and remove pills in the wash. Combined with a gentle, cold-water cycle, this type of detergent may help reduce a pilling problem.

Because pilling is such a common problem, many companies have invented actual pill shavers to remove the pests. My favorite pill/lint remover is made by Conair. Works great and wish I’d discovered this little miracle tool before I gave away that jacket. Just click the link to see the details.  

There are a few things you can do to prevent pills from happening in the first place:

All these suggestions regard the care of fabrics when you do the laundry. I’m going to suggest that you do as I say NOT as I do. I’m the worst when it comes to being a good laundress.

Always follow care instructions on a garment. They are there for a good reason. . . to give your garment a long shelf life.

Sort laundry carefully. And sort your clothes not only according to color but also by fabric type. This way heavier fabrics will be less likely to damage lighter ones in the wash.

Turn garments inside out. Fasten zippers, buttons and hooks. Pilling is a result of abrasion and rubbing against these metal and plastic surfaces can damage the fibers.

Don’t overload the machine. If clothes are not able to move easily in the washer and dryer, they will rub together, causing more friction and more pills.

That’s it for my little tutorial this week. Hope you learned something new and it can be useful to you.

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