Pilling may be unavoidable for certain types of cashmere garments, but you can prevent pilling or remove existing Cashmere pilling easily with this guide.
The term “balling” or “pilling” refers to the sporadic formation of tiny, fuzzy balls on a fabric’s surface. The tangle of the top hairs on cashmere results in cashmere pills. Because it is made up primarily of short fibers, cashmere of lower quality is especially prone to pilling.
There are many ways to stop this from happening, and we’ve listed them all for you, so don’t worry. Here is a thorough explanation of pilling and how to avoid it.
Does Cashmere Pill?
High-quality care should be given to cashmere because it is a delicate and high-quality fiber. Since the fiber is so delicate, it can “pill” after friction. You have probably already witnessed this happening with various fibers and materials. When the fibers start to come loose, small fuzzballs appear.
Low-quality cashmere is especially prone to pilling, as it is composed of mostly short fibers. High-quality cashmere products will not pill excessively when properly cared for.
Further Reading: Does Merino Wool Pill?
Does Good Quality Cashmere Pill?
Unfortunately, cashmere will pill no matter what; however, rubbing low-quality cashmere between your fingers may cause it to pill right away.
This is brought on by the shorter, thicker fibers in the grade. Natural fibers interlock when spun together, which is how yarn is made. A garment of lower quality will be more easily torn apart than one of higher quality because long, thin fibers have a stronger bond than short, thick ones.
Don’t give your bargain purchases the side eye just yet; you can still make cheap cashmere work for you. Check out the advice we’ve provided below on how to wear cashmere and keep it from getting wet or damaged by the elements.
What Causes Cashmere Pilling?
Even though cashmere is not the only fabric that is prone to pilling, it is especially discouraging given how expensive it is in comparison to other natural fibers. The cashmere piece’s fiber quality, your wearing habits, and where you wear it are the three main variables at play.
Judging the overall quality of a cashmere garment depends on several variables, but raw cashmere wool falls into one of three graded categories:
- Grade A: Fibers that are 34 millimeters in length and as thin as 14 microns (1 micron = 0.001 mm).
- Grade B: Grade B fibers still yield superior cashmere even though they are typically thicker and longer than Grade A fibers.
- Grade C: Although low-quality cashmere can still be used to create pricey goods, these textiles are less durable and do not have the same soft feel as those produced from higher-quality grades.
Analyzing how a cashmere garment is worn can give us most of the information we need to solve the riddle of the pilled sweater. If you wear cashmere roughly, it will pill all over, even if it is the most expensive and highest quality.
roughly, that is, in comparison to cashmere. Wearing layers of clothing is a common strategy to stay warm when it’s time to leave the house while also remaining cool, but if your cashmere ends up in the middle layers, you run the risk of it pilling.
Pilling may appear to be merely an aesthetic issue, but keep in mind that it is actually a bobble of knotted fabric that is still adhered to an otherwise intact strand. If it snags on a button or ring, you might actually sustain damage rather than just a minor amount of shedding.
Even when wearing cashmere clothing carefully, you might still notice pilling around the neckline, hems, and any cuffs. The fabric is also prone to pilling quickly in any area where it creases while being worn, such as beneath the arms.
Even though cashmere is a popular choice for winter clothing due to its warmth and softness, you probably won’t pack your best sweater for a mountain climbing expedition. This could imply that your favorite cardigan gets soiled with rain, snow, or cider that was spilled at a holiday party.
Any discoloration or stain may be removed with a quick wash, but any of the previously damp splotches present a risk while it is still being worn. When cashmere is wet, it is most susceptible. Natural fibers like wool lose their shape and stretch once they’ve become saturated, which causes breakage – and breakage leads to pilling.
Environmental issues, however, go beyond what takes place in and around the home. How often you wage war on those persistent little fuzzballs may depend on what’s going on inside your house. How well and how long your cashmere lasts depends greatly on the storage techniques you use.
Friction between fibers is the real cause of pilling. Although the integrity of those fibers and the normal wear are obvious reasons why these fibers rub against one another, cashmere clothing is still subject to friction while being stored.
How Do You Remove Cashmere Pilling?
Do not ever try to remove a pill with your fingers, as was previously mentioned. The knit will be irreparably harmed, and the garment will wear out much more quickly than it would otherwise.
Similar to how some people use razor blades or scissors to remove the fuzzy balls, this is not a good idea because you risk removing a lot of the garment’s still-attached, perfectly good fabric, which will reduce the garment’s lifespan.
Use a cashmere comb, which is specifically made for the job of removing pills, as it is by far the safest and kindest method. Since the washing process itself can lead to the development of small pills, it is ideal to do this before washing your cashmere sweater.
The idea is to remove any small pills before they become larger ones, but a gentle comb may actually untangle some of the loosely bound fibers rather than remove them, keeping your garment looking newer for longer without your knowledge.
On our cashmere care page, you can find all the information you require to properly care for your clothing, including instructions for washing, drying, storing, and more.
How Do You Prevent Cashmere Pilling?
It might sound strange, but if you give a wool or cashmere garment a “rest” in between wears, this can help reduce pilling. The fibers in the fabric can return to their original shape when not in use, making them more resilient and pill-resistant.
Washing it carefully will also be beneficial. The cashmere fibers are nourished by washing, which keeps them robust and reduces pilling. Additionally, washing from the inside out will lessen rubbing. Dry cleaning or simply running it through a regular wash cycle won’t be good for it; gentle hand or machine washing will.
When you wash, be careful. To ensure that your knits are treated with the utmost care, hand wash them. Treating and caring for your delicate cashmere sweater as a treasured item will help you avoid pilling.
Conclusion: Cashmere Does Pill
Washing cashmere frequently is the most effective method for preventing pilling. Cashmere detangles, settles, and returns the fibers smoothly to the surface of the garment when it is wet and washed.
With this knowledge, you should be able to prolong the life of all your wool clothing as well as your cashmere clothing by preventing pilling, preventing it from occurring and getting rid of those pesky bobbles. The longer it remains in new condition, the better. That could last for years if you follow these suggestions.
How Do You Know If Cashmere Will Pill?
All cashmere will pill no matter what you do – but low-quality cashmere may pill immediately if you rub a layer of it between your fingers. This is brought on by the shorter, thicker fibers in the grade. Natural fibers interlock when spun together, giving yarn its distinctive texture.
Why Does My Cashmere Sweater Pill So Much?
This happens because cashmere fibers are shorter than other fabrics like cotton or polyester, making them more prone to breaking away from the weave over time with wear and washing. The friction that results from rubbing up against skin or other surfaces can also result in pilling.
How Long Does Cashmere Last?
One of the most durable fabrics available is cashmere. Connoisseurs claim that garments made from this paper-thin yarn can last up to 30 years–just as long as you show them a little TLC.