What is pilling, and how can I prevent it?

“Pilling” is the dreaded condition whereBattiston's University your garments - most commonly sweaters and coats - develop little balls (pills) of fabric on the outer surface. You can try to pick them off one-by-one to restore a clean outer surface, but gosh that’s annoying. But why does that happen, anyway?

First off, a quick description of how pilling happens, from our friends at New York’s Hallak Cleaners:

Pilling of a fabric occurs when groups of short or broken fibers on the surface of the fabric become tangled together in a tiny ball called a pill. Pilling results from rubbing (abrasion) of the fabric during normal wear and use. While pilling cannot be eliminated it can be minimized by proper handling during washing of the fabric/garment. Before laundering, turn the garment inside and out. Use a slower agitation and a shorter wash cycle. And, remove the garment from the dryer as soon as it is dry.

Pilling can happen during everyday wear, but you’re most likely to see the effects after you launder your garments - laundering leads to a lot of friction where pieces of fabric in a garment are rubbing against one another. Here’s where dry cleaning technology comes in. Pilled Knit FabricDry cleaning machines employ lower agitation than conventional home washing machines. Our service treats your garments more delicately than your home washing machine does - after all, that’s the foundation of dry cleaning, to treat the garments you need handled with the softest care. A drycleaned coat or sweater is certain to have less pilling after cleaning than the same garment after regular laundry.

But what about your garments that already have a lot of pilling? Can we treat them and remove the pills? Yes, to some extent. It may be impossible to remove them all - this is a situation where once the cat’s out of the bag, it’s not going to get all the way back in - but we pride ourselves on our careful treatment of your garments and will work to remove existing pills to the extent possible. We want you to be certain that your garments are going to look better and more vibrant coming out of our store than going in, and this is just one of the ways we can do that.

(Source: hallak.com)