What is Pilling?

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Pilling is something that no one likes to see and these tiny balls can happen in a lot of different fabrics. If your shirts are pilling, there may be some worries as to quality. Today’s apparel insider’s look hits on why pilling happens, what pill resistant fabric looks like, and ways to avoid those dreaded pill balls. 

Why Pilling Happens

To understand pilling, we have to become the pilling. The act of pilling is the formation of tiny balls that occurs when fabrics rub against other things. Pilling can happen on a wide range of different fabrics. With the rubbing, the fibers in the garment will loosen and start to migrate to the surface. Stronger “anchor fibers” are what’s going to make the pill stick and remain front and center to nag the wearer throughout the day. 

Some fabrics will generate pilling that just falls out on its own while others like polyester and nylon can require the use of devices such as fabric lint removers to get rid of pilling. In either case, pilling doesn’t provide for a good hand-feel or aesthetics, so we generally want to avoid it as much as possible.

A Closer Look At Pill Resistant Fabrics 

Because of their weight, you are most likely to see the highest prevalence for pilling in hoodies, sweatshirts, and fleece blankets. Luckily, today’s apparel manufacturers are coming out with tons of options that incorporate pill resistance into the product. Pill resistant apparel has been specially treated to reduce the likelihood of pilling. 

Garments like the Gildan 18500 Heavy Blend Pullover Hoodie and the Harriton M990W Women’s Full-Zip fleece have been specifically engineered to be resistant to pilling. Tighter weaves will also generally lead to less pilling in clothes and blankets. 

Other Ways to Avoid Pilling 

If you’ve got clothes that always seem to be growing new pills, there are some steps you can take (or tell your customers to take) that can help reduce the likelihood of pilling to occur. These include tips like:

  • Washing clothes inside-out.
  • Not adding fabric softener.
  • Not overloading the wash.

When you’re purchasing wholesale clothing online, you might be just trying to get a great deal on your own wardrobe or buying for your whole team. No matter why you’re ordering, seeing pilling is never something someone is actively looking for. Use the above tips or just look for pill resistant apparel choices on your next order.

Check Out the Latest Pill Resistant Styles

T-Shirt Wholesaler is all about the latest innovations that make our customers' lives just a little easier. Pill resistant clothing is just one of the many features you’ll see on the top choices in apparel we carry from names like Gildan, Harriton, and more. Knowing more about common issues like pilling can help you discover plenty of options for avoiding them altogether.

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04/01/2022 |

Which tshirt brand pills the least?


11/09/2021 |

Which tshirts have the least pilling? I'm starting a print on demand business with Printful and need info. Thanks.