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How to avoid pilling?

Pilling. Unfortunately, it is something we are all familiar with. Pills can form on garments of any material and price point, from a less expensive acrylic blend to a high-end cashmere sweater. Keep reading to learn how to prevent pilling from happening and what you can do to remove those annoying little fuzz balls from your favorite clothing.

What is Pilling?

Pilling is the process when groups of short or broken fibers on a garment become tangled together in tiny knots or balls, also known as pills. This is caused when the surface of the fabric rubs on other objects or with the fabric itself during normal wear and use as it happens with the fabric under your armpits, sleeves, front portion, and back portion of the garment.


What causes pilling on clothes?

Everyday wear, fabric rubbing against itself, and agitation from washing and drying can all cause fabric pilling. You may find more pills in the underarms of shirts, the inseam of pants, and the center of bed sheets since these spots see the most wear and tear.

Fabric type also plays a role in clothes pilling. Shorter fibers like cotton, wool, fleece, polyester, and other synthetics are more prone to breakage, which results in pilling. Longer fibers, such as linen and silk, hold together and break less easily. Loose-knit clothes also tend to pill more than tightly woven fabrics since the fibers aren’t held together as strongly.


How to Prevent Pilling When Washing Clothes

Here are some helpful tips to prevent pilling when washing your clothes:

  1. Turn the garments inside out before washing them. This prevents excessive abrasion to the surface of the fabric from other clothes, zippers, and buttons.
  2. Use a liquid laundry detergent. This helps to prevent abrasion damage from washing powder granules. If you are planning to use a washing powder, ensure that it is completely dissolved in the water before adding your clothes.
  3. To prevent damage, place delicate items into individual mesh laundry bags. This helps to stop them from rubbing together and loosening fibers.
  4. Wash different types of fabric items separately – for example, separate cotton from non-cotton. You will also want to separate dark colors from light clothes to prevent any color transfer during the wash.


How to Remove Pilling from Clothes

While pilling can be quite annoying, it is pretty simple to get rid of the pills. One of the most effective ways to remove pilling is to use a fabric comb or a battery-operated pill and fuzz remover that shaves the pills from the surface of the garment. If you do not own a fabric comb or a pill and fuzz remover, you can also pull the fabric taut over a curved surface and carefully cut off the pills with small, sharp scissors or use a safety razor to shave the fabric.

Make sure to be extremely careful and weigh the value of the garment before tackling this job yourself. If you don’t have the time or simply do not want to do it yourself, you can always take it to a professional dry cleaner to have it cleaned and depilled.


Pilling is frustrating so make sure to be cautious with your clothes! Use the tips listed to avoid future damage. Trust your laundry to the professionals at The Best Dry Cleaners of Savannah

We use an eco-friendly Dry Cleaning Process:

Utilization of green, environmentally friendly hydro-carbon-based cleaners. We do NOT use the solvent, perchloroethylene, which is both a health and environmental hazard!

Dry Cleaners Savannah Georgia


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