Does Merino Wool Pill? 4 Easy Methods to Prevent It
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Does Merino Wool Pill? 4 Easy Methods to Prevent It

This article explains how to prevent Merino wool pilling if you’ve been avoiding wearing your favorite Merino wool sweater because of pilling.

Wearable all year round, Merino wool is a wonderful material. In the winter, it will keep you warm, and in the summer, it will keep you cool while still keeping you fashionable. Merino wool’s long fibers make it less likely to pill than other types of wool. But regardless of how good or inexpensive the Merino wool is, if it is not handled carefully, it will pill.

Can Merino wool pilling be avoided, though? You can learn more about the causes of wool pilling in this article and whether it can be avoided.

Does Merino Wool Pill?

Merino wool does pill, but it does so much less frequently than other kinds of wool. The majority of fine Merino wool clothing does not pill in the least. But regardless of the price or quality, if you don’t take good care of Merino wool, it will pill.

The truth is that there is a very high likelihood of pilling if Merino wool is not processed properly or if it is not blended with other fabrics.

But today’s manufacturers typically choose one over the other. They would either chemically process Merino wool to prevent pilling or mix it with synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon to lessen pilling.

Why Does Merino Wool Pill?

Does Merino Wool Pill? 4 Easy Methods to Prevent It

The development of tiny, fluffy balls on woolen clothing and other products that have experienced some “wear and tear,” such as rubbing or constant friction, is referred to as fabric pilling. Piling can look shabby on fine woolen clothing, blankets, or pillows, and it frequently makes owners anxious because they expect a stronger, longer-lasting product.

Generally, pilling gathers in areas of a product that are subject to more friction, such as the underarm, the back (especially if you wear it while sitting), and the wrists.

If a wool blanket or pillow is placed on a rougher surface, such as a hard floor or outside, pilling will typically occur more frequently on the side that is facing down. It all comes down to how much abrasion and friction are present.

Additionally, depending on how rough the woolen item is worn or handled, pilling might occur more frequently. Using your sweater while performing strenuous activities like gardening or jogging may cause pilling to occur more quickly and frequently.

How to Stop Wool from Pilling?

Since there are numerous variables that can affect the pilling of a Merino sweater, there are numerous ways to stop Merino wool from pilling in the first place.

Use a Liquid Detergent Instead of Washing Powder

When exposed to harsh substances like washing powders, a Merino sweater may pill. The Merino wool fibers become cut and rubbed by washing powder particles over time. As a result, the fibers start to lose their strength, shape, and structure.

Often, pilling results from this structural damage. That’s why I recommend people to use liquid detergent, as it would keep their wool garments safe and would overall increase the life of these items.

Wash Merino Wool the Right Way

Does Merino Wool Pill? 4 Easy Methods to Prevent It

As a general rule, washing wool by hand is preferable to washing it by machine. You can still machine wash Merino wool despite this. Yes, you can, but with this fabric, you would need to be a little more careful.

That’s yet another fantastic quality of this fabric. Even if it rains, there is no need for concern. In order to prevent pilling, how should Merino wool be washed?

  1. If your machine has a “wool” cycle, then go for that. If it doesn’t have that option, go for “delicate” “low” or “gentle” cycles. The least abrasive is usually these.
  2. When washing, you should always turn your clothes inside out. The same is true for Merino wool.
  3. Your Merino wool sweaters should be washed separately. Long-term pilling can also be caused by too much rubbing against other garments.

Avoid a Lot of Activity When Wearing Wool

What the wearer does while sporting a Merino wool sweater can also affect how much pilling fabric experiences. Wearing Merino wool would put the fibers of the wool under more strain and abrasion if you were doing a lot of physical activity. As a result, pilling will frequently occur.

As a result, avoid wearing Merino wool clothing while exercising or going for a run. Wear dedicated workout clothes on these occasions. Save your Merino wool clothing for social events and business gatherings.

Avoid Pure Merino Wool

In the fashion industry, blends have unfairly received a bad rap. People are unaware that, provided the blend proportions are correct (which they are not always), combining two textiles may produce a product that is superior for the consumer.

Does Merino Wool Pill? 4 Easy Methods to Prevent It

Choose a Merino wool and polyester blend in which the Merino wool makes up the majority of the used fibers if pilling is a major concern for you. 85 percent Merino and 15 percent polyester, in my opinion, is the ideal ratio.

Merino wool may be the only type of wool that does not pill, but it cannot keep up with synthetic textiles in this regard.

As a result, if your sweater only contains a small amount of polyester, you will be able to benefit from the latter’s non-pilling qualities while also taking advantage of Merino wool’s warmth. It is difficult to surpass the sum of these elements.

Removing Lint Balls from Merino Wool Clothes

My beloved Finisterre’s wool pants are currently being reconsidered for the Marie Kondo goodbye protocol, as per usual. Yes, I’ve had them for years, but aside from the pilling, they remain in good condition, are free of holes, and have kept their shape. And perhaps something could be done to stop the pilling.

Here are a few:

  • Use a Fabric Shaver: Lint-ball removal from clothing is never enjoyable. Using an electric fabric shaver will help you finish this task quickly. On Amazon, you can get some pretty good deals. The Lalint Electric Lint Remover is one product that customers adore. It’s inexpensive, rechargeable, and absolutely fantastic!
  • Use a Sweater Comb: The fabric shaver and this tool are extremely comparable. The only distinction is that a sweater comb needs to be operated by hand. This does not imply that it is challenging to use. Simply lay your clothing out flat and comb the sweater through it.
  • Use a Velcro Hair Roller: In an emergency or on a tight budget, see if you have a hair roller at home. This method will work, even though it will take a lot longer. Lay the garment flat before using the Velcro hair roller to roll along the fabric’s surface and remove lints. You’ll notice that the roller picks up any fiber balls on your clothing as you do this.

Final Words: Merino Wool Pilling

When treated properly, high-quality Merino wool clothing won’t pill. This entails a number of practices, such as washing the clothes inside out and using liquid detergents rather than washing powder.

You should look for clothing made from Merino wool blended with other synthetic fibers if you don’t want any pilling at all.


Is Merino Wool Prone to Bobbing?

This is a completely normal process that can only be stopped during the manufacturing of the fabric by adding additional synthetic fibers or processing steps. The most frequent reason why Merino wool clothing bobbles is friction.

How Horrible Is It When a Sweater is Pilled?

In fact, the opposite is true: pilling IS NOT a sign of poor-quality wool. Shorter fibers, such as Shetland wool fibers, are more likely to pill because, as was previously mentioned, more of their little ends are exposed to the abrasion of daily use.

What Fabrics Do Not Pill?

If you prefer avoiding pilling altogether, go for all-natural materials, such as pure wool, or textiles made from long fibers, such as silk or linen upholstery fabrics. Denim and microsuedes with tight weaves hardly ever seem to pill.

Is It Normal for Merino Wool to Pill?

Pilling is a natural, inevitable occurrence amongst products that are made using wool fibers. Unfortunately, there are many myths about wool pilling, wool washing, and wool maintenance.

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