If you own a sweater, you probably know the feeling of buying a good brand only for it to fray and get pilly in a month and look like an old one. It is frustrating to spend money on expensive items and then have them begin to pill only a couple of months later. Even the expensive brands that guarantee the quality of the fabric start to pill and fray easily.
So, how do you ensure that your beloved sweater doesn’t meet the same fate of pilling as your old ones? Follow these few troubleshooting tips to care for your sweaters and make sure they don’t pill.
First, let’s clarify what is pilling?
“Fabric pilling is the term for loose strands or balls of fiber that form on a piece of fabric. You’ve probably noticed these little bits of fabric on pillows, rugs, and furniture in your home” according to Furniture Academy.
Pills form when the yarn on your sweater breaks, or when the threads become loose or when the ends are frayed and exposed, or when the threads get tangled together. Sweaters often get pilled due to the nature of its fabric, their visible yarn. Basically, any woven fabrics are in higher danger of pilling. Pilling tends to get worse with more wear; which is why it may seem that it’s always your favorite sweater that gets pills rather than the ugly one have at the back of your closet.
Furthermore, it is very difficult/ near impossible to tell by looking at a garment in the shop if it will pill. You can’t see it until you start wearing it.
As friction accelerates/begins pilling, the garment areas that are especially prone to pilling are the areas that are constantly brushing up - like the inside of the forearms and the sides of the torso. Men and women who carry shoulder bags also experience pilling on the shoulders of the garment. Similarly, wearing seatbelts every day can also cause pilling across the chest area of the sweater.
While it may be hard to resist, you must try and avoid buying super soft sweaters because they are washed repeatedly by retailers to break the material in and thus are quicker to get pilled.
How can you ensure minimum to no pilling with Lanolin?
Once you’ve purchased the sweater, there are a few ways you can ensure that it stays in the best condition possible. You can use specialized conditioner, or better yet - a product called lanolin to keep your sweater soft and new looking.
Lanolin has strong emulsifying properties. it is great for smoothing and soothing. What you have to do is buy lanolin and put some in a bathtub of lukewarm water, rinse your pilling garment and then allow the garment to be air-dried. The process helps smooth the yarn’s fiber, making it less rough and less likely to tangle – Like applying conditioner to your hair.