Why Does Pilling Occur?

Helllu Pussycats!

Pilling is another one of those things that we have all had 
happen to one of our best pieces.
Not the most exciting of topics but it happens and can be really annoying.

Pilling is an characteristic of any many 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 "self" removed
during laundering.
Pilling of itself doesn't mean the garment is made
with non-quality fabric but I am referring to the kind of pilling
that starts right a way and you can't easily trim it off.  
Think about a
 polyester or acrylic top you buy  from the mall & after
 one wear and wash it looks like you've worn it 20 times.  
The key is avoid the  poorly made stuff b/c they are
made with cheap fabric. 

Quality fabrics react better to stress and abrasion better than the
cheaper ones. Remember both manmade and natural fibers
 will pill. Natural fibers have pills that will remove themselves or are
 more easily removed by you. So you are saying
"Weezi how do we know how the fabric
will react before we buy it?" Unfortunately, you can't.
The best thing to do is to make more informed decisions
based on your experiences and those of friends or family.

Here are a few tips:

**1. Choose smooth, sturdy, closely woven fabrics.
Poor quality cotton is more likely to experience fabric pilling
than high thread count cotton.
( think about the gorgeous cotton sheets you see in an upscale
 linen shop vs. sheets from a discount store.
We will talk about thread counts here.)

**2. Choose items that you can easily remove the pills from.
Think of a nice wool sweater for example.
You know you can just pull a few off your sweater no biggee.
We have all had arcylic items that pill immediately & it is a bummer.
Not to mention they are a real pain to remove.

**3. Learn from your neighbourhood thrift store.
Whether you are an avid thrifter or a beginner you
will come to notice these shoppes
are filled with cheap, poorly made cast offs from the mall.
Which is why they are there.
This is a chance to beef up your quality expertise.
Look at the labels of the clothes there.
Do you see a pattern emerging of a few of the same labels
showing up over and over again? Are they commonalities that
you see in these labels?
Are these labels pilled, buttons fell off, seams stretched out of
 shape or have the hems fallen out?
If you can say yes to 2 or more of these things.....stay away!
Conversely, you can see labels that look great and
have washed and worn very well.
I have made many decisions about where to shop
 based on what I see in the Good Will.

**4. We girls luv to talk! Ask your friends if they would 
recommend a shoppe or brand that
doesn't pill too badly based on their experiences. I can think
of several lines I could recommend to my friends.

**5. Lastly, if you are buying handmade ask the seller what she
can tell you about the fabric and what she recommends
for care. Never be afraid to ask before you buy.
 Any reputable seller won't mind answering your
(many) questions before a purchase.

Here are some laundering tips to help avoid pilling:

* Turn susceptible garments inside out before laundering.

* Load the washer loosely to provide free circulation
 and minimize abrasion on the garment.

* Use a shorter wash time for permanent press, knits,
and delicates unless they are heavily soiled.

*Wash permanent press, knits, and delicates in separate
 load from articles that have a tendency to lint.

* Allow garments that might pill to air dry
especially sweaters and knitted items.

* Hand wash delicate items or use a mesh lingerie
bag in the delicate cycle

Next: The Details: Zipper, Thread, Stitiching, Linings & Facings

Hope this was helpful!!
Have a great afternoon.
Luv Weezi xo

You can see the entire series here on my web site :)