What is pilling and why does it happen? Those irritating little bobbles of fluff that appear after time can make your bedding look a little, erm.. tatty. It happens as the fibres of the material – both natural and man-made fabrics – break down and get tangled together, forming little balls of material.
What is Pilling and How Do I Prevent It?
It’s an almost inevitable part of owning any bedding or clothing. Those unsightly little ‘bobbles’, or ‘pills’ that appear on your cotton and polycotton bed linen can make a beautiful set of sheets look a little tired and, sorry to say, a little tatty. It’s not all bad news, though. Pilling can be kept to a minimum and can be removed with a little care and attention.
Pills appear on fabric when groups of short or broken fibers become tangled together in a tiny knot or ball, known as a pill. The pills form due to rubbing or abrasion during normal wear and use.
What Causes Pilling?
Simply, abrasion. When something rubs against a cotton, woolen or polycotton material, it suffers a small amount of abrasion damage and the tiny fibres get tangled or knotted together, forming the small ‘fuzz balls’ or ‘pills’. The appearance of pills is then compounded as other lose fibres and dust become tangled up, too, often when washing. This is why pills on while fabric can look grey, even black.
How do I Prevent Pilling?
Basically, be careful with your bed linen – treat it gently. If you have it, use the ‘gentle’ cycle on your washing machine. The slower agitation and shorter wash cycle will protect the material in your sheets and pillowcases. Better still, wash your bed linen by hand – if you have all the time in the world.
Wash your bedding separately and don’t over fill the machine. Washing cotton or polycotton sheets and pillowcases in the same load as, for example, a pair of jeans – while clearly a terrible idea – will cause considerably more abrasion and harm to the surface of the fabric. Avoid washing cotton & polycotton with lint-producing fabrics like terry cloth. If there are already broken fibers on your sheets, the lint from terry cloth will cling tightly to the pills, making them larger and more noticeable.
Do not overload the washing machine. Cramming it as full as possible not only lessens the cleaning effect, but also leaves little room for clothes to move easily and causes damage to the surface of the materials. This wear – or abrasion – then further exacerbates the pilling on your sheets and pillowcases.
Do your best to avoid harsh cleaner detergents and damaging bleach, both of which will weaken fibers, causing them to break and pill. If possible, choose a laundry detergent that contains the enzyme ‘cellulase’. This will help break down cotton pills and remove them. This is mostly advised for cotton. Also, add a fabric softener to the rinse cycle which will coat the fibers of the fabric so that abrasion is lessened.
If you can, try to avoid over-use of the tumble dryer. Assuming it’s not pouring down, line-dry your bedding if you can. Excessive tumble drying just rubs the material together, causing wear. We try to use the dryer with very little in it, for a short time, then finish on the clothes line.
How to Remove Pilling
the best and most effective way to remove pills is to use a fabric comb or battery-operated fuzz remover. These handy devices shave the pills from the surface of the fabric, while leaving the underlying material unaffected. There are a number of these clever things available, here are one or two…
NOT RECOMMENDED: You can also pull the fabric taut over a curved surface and carefully cut off the pills with small, sharp scissors or shave the fabric surface with a safety razor. You must be extremely careful and weigh the value of the garment before tackling the job!
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Cotton vs Polycotton – which is best? That’s a difficult question and all depends on what you want. Cotton is more expensive, but polycotton is way more durable and long-lasting. Cotton tends to be softer, but polycotton brings a crisp and clean feel to your bedding.
Cotton vs Polycotton
It’s all a matter of preference! Cotton feels softer on your skin, but polycotton feels crisp and fresh on your bed. Cotton is less strong and more likely to tear, whereas polycotton is a much stronger material, less likely to tear.
Cotton is also notoriously awkward to keep clean. It requires lower temperatures, meaning a less thorough wash and is considerably more difficult to iron. Polycotton however, can be washed a temperatures up to 60°, meaning a much cleaner wash. It can be tumble dried without any problems and is much easier to iron. Combining cotton and polyester makes the garment less prone to piling and static. One of the main advantages of the cotton-polyester blend is that it is more wrinkle-free.
Hotel Stripe Polyester Cotton Bed Linen
Satin Stripe (or ‘Hotel Stripe’) Pillowcases & Duvet Covers in Double or King Sizes. Made from durable, 200 thread count polycotton (50% cotton, 50% polyester), these stylish Satin Stripe (sometimes called ‘Hotel Stripe’) duvet covers and matching pillowcases bring a touch of hotel luxury to your home, guest house or B&B.
They are a perfect fit for our Duvets and have coordinating pillowcases in ‘Housewife’ and ‘Oxford’ styles. Mix and match this range for a beautifully coordinated, luxury hotel look!
Buy Cotton Bedding in Ireland
Cotton has been the staple of bedding for many a generation and offers warmth, softness and a cozy feel. All good! The problem is, it’s a bit pricey and takes some effort keeping it clean and fresh.
Cotton vs Polycotton, it’s a big decision! On average, we spend about a third of our lives in bed. It’s so important to make sure our sleeping time is as restful as possible. The range of 100% cotton bedding from KerryLinen.ie gives you a cozy nights’ sleep at a very affordable price! Whether you’re looking for just a cotton pillowcase or a matching cotton bedding set, you can be sure you’ll find just the right bedding, right here!
We stock 100% cotton bedding perfect for your home, also for you guest house, B&B or hotel. We like simple white cotton bedding. Crisp, clean and fresh, few things feel quite as 100 cotton bedding. Treat yourself (or your guests) to a better night’s sleep!
Polycotton is Strong & Durable
Polycotton is a highly durable material as Polyester contains strong plastic-like substances, making it far less likely to rip or tear. The durable nature of Polycotton makes it an very popular choice in commercial situations such as hotels, where bed sheets are often changed often.
Polycotton is a blend of natural cotton and synthetic polyester. Both Cotton and Polycotton bed sheets are easy to care for, both types of fabric can be washed on normal cycles in your washing machine and can be dried in the dryer. It is advised to wash cotton at lower temperatures (around 30° or 40°) however Polycotton can be washed at higher temperatures – up to 60° – for ultimate cleanliness. Washing natural fabrics like cotton 60 degrees may (most likely, will) cause them to shrink, however polycotton will not. That said, there are a number of types of cotton and polycotton, so always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when washing and drying your sheets and bed linen.
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Individual framed prints look great, but a set of four or five, tastefully arranged on your wall looks incredible! Most prints are approximately 11½ by 16½ inches, all with bold frames in black or white and white inset card. Overall measurement approximately 17½ by 22½ inches.
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