Pilling is a common problem with many towels. The result of pilling is small balls of tangled fibers that appear on the surface of the fabric. To avoid and prevent pilling, invest in towels made from quality fibers.
If quality is the goal, look for 100 percent Egyptian or Pima cotton, which have long fibers and are less likely to produce lint, which results in pills. Another option to consider is “combed cotton,” which has thread that is combed before being spun to remove the shorter fibers that form pills.
When properly cared for, quality towels rarely pill, however, the reality is they can. There are many factors that affect a towel’s propensity to pill as well as the economic life of a towel. Following are a few of the common factors:
- The elasticity of the cotton. When cotton is exposed to extreme heat, it will begin to become brittle after repeated exposure and the fibers of the fabric can break causing more fraying and pilling.
- Loose weave. If the fibers in the yarn are not twisted tightly, over time these fibers will loosen causing small balls or pills.
- The length of fiber used in the construction of the yarn. Longer yarn means fewer fiber ends, which means fewer chances of pilling and unraveling of the yarn.
- The use of harsh cleaning detergents. The detergents used to clean your towels and linens can adversely affect their economic life, as well as cause pilling. There are many brighteners that contain bleach derivatives, which can harm cotton fibers.
- Extreme purpose and frequency of use. The more abrasion a towel is exposed to will affect it’s life expectancy and can also fray the fibers more easily.
As a local business owner in Austin, Texas our goal at Austin Linen Service is to help you extend the life of your linens and towels. I hope these care and quality tips will help in that endeavor. If we can be of help to you for any linen service you might need, please reach out to us, we would love to help you.