Anti-pill Flannel Fabric: How to Keep Flannel From Pilling

Its nobody’s fault. When pilling occurs it is not the fault of the manufacturer or a fabric defect. Instead, pilling is a natural and very common thing to see with a majority of fabrics. Thankfully there are numerous ways to keep flannel and other fabrics from pilling.

How to keep flannel from pilling: Cotton flannel shirts have a pilling issue but there is a way to cut that down from happening. All you have to do is button the shirt up after you turned it inside out. Use the delicate cycle on your washing machine then hang dry it when the machine has finished.

To get the full scoop on the anti-pilling procedures available just continue to read out article. It is filled with the information you need to know. Plus, getting a little help to solve a common problem is not wrong.

Why Does Flannel Pill?


There are two main reasons why you see pilling on flannel clothing items. The first reason is because of friction. The more the flannel shirts, etc., rub against other clothing items the more you will see pilling take place.

That is why you are often instructed to turn flannel clothing items inside out. this action helps protect the flannel clothing items from the friction. The second reason is found in how you wash your flannel items.

Because of the possibility of dust mites getting into sheets, most people wash their flannel items in hot water. This is a big no-no as hot water contributes to the pilling problem.

The correct washing temperature for flannel is warm or cold water. If you want to cut down pilling you should add a 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the cold water during the rinse cycle.

But if you already see an item starting to pill, you can eliminate the detergent and just use cold water and vinegar. That should cut the problem out for you. Also, avoid using those commercial liquids and rinse cycle fabric softeners.

Does Snuggle Flannel Pill?


Sadly, yes it does. It may be due to the looser weave that creates the snuggle flannel fabric or it may be due to the dyes that are used to color the fabric. But either way, you will find that after a few washings, the snuggle flannel will pill.

Another problem with snuggles flannel is that its loose weave encourages shrinking. This flannel does shrink quite a bit. It also wears out faster so if longevity is your goal then you will not want to be using snuggles flannel.

Another reason that snuggles flannel will pill on you is because it is not made from high-quality fibers. The higher quality flannel fibers do not seem to pill. When you want to avoid the pilling issue you may have to shell out a few more dollars per yard and get the higher quality material.

The exception to these rules is nothing is always going to be the same in sewing. You may get a batch of snuggles material that doe snot pill and you may get a batch of high-quality fabric that does.

Sometimes it is just the luck of the draw that spares you from dealing with pills.

Flannel Sheets That Don't Pill


If you want flannel sheets that do not pill you are looking for those sheets that are made from high-quality fibers designed to not pill. For cotton flannel, you will want to see the long fiber or long-staple threads.

The sheets made from these items do not usually pill or cause you a lot of problems. They also are a lot softer than polyester or cotton-polyester blend sheets. Next, you should look at how the sheets are woven.

Those sheets that have an equal amount of vertical and horizontal threads are less likely to pill. The ones made with more vertical than horizontal threads are more likely to pill. One example would be sateen for the ease of pilling.

Then how you care for your sheets will play a significant role in if they pill or not. If you use high water temperatures and high drying heat, then you are damaging the fibers causing them to pill.

Also, you should wash your sheets by themselves as other clothing items will scratch them and create pills. Individual flannel sheet names can be found if you do a good search using the search term no pill flannel sheets.

There will be different brand names advertising that their flannel sheets do not pill.

Anti-Pill Flannel Fabric Options


One of the problems with looking for anti-pill flannel fabric options is that it may be a game of hit and miss. The expensive $9 per yard anti-pill fabric can have different bolts pill as badly as the cheaper $4 per yard flannel fabric.

When you go to a fabric store there is no real way to test which kind of fabric will pill and which will not. Although your chances are better with the higher quality fabric than they are with the lower quality variety.

If you want some names the Maywood Studio Woolies Flannel Colors Assortment is one flannel fabric option that should not pill. Then the Robert Kaufman Mammoth Flannel Buffalo Plaid Red Fabric also has a reputation for not pilling.

A third option would be the Cotton Flannel Fabric from FWD, with the Black Watch Plaid Flannel Cotton Fabric from Chicago Canvas coming in at a close fourth. The Organic Cotton Plus’ Organic-Cotton Lightweight Flannel Fabric is said to pill a little after a few washings.

There are a lot of options available and these five only make up a small amount of anti-pill flannel fabric options that are available to you. The best way to get your options is to talk to your local fabric store and see what they recommend.

How do You Keep Flannel From Pilling?


We have already mentioned a few ways to keep your flannel clothing items from pilling. One of those ways is to turn any flannel clothing item inside out to keep it from rubbing against other clothing items in the same wash cycle.

Another method already mentioned was adding vinegar to your cold water rinse cycle. This helps a lot. Then for sheets, you should wash them separately from other sheets and clothes. You can’t turn them inside out and the friction will create those nasty pills you do not like.

One thing to realize is that while you can cut the pilling down on flannel clothing items and sheets, you will not totally eliminate it. Since friction is one cause, your tossing and turning at night will also cause your flannel sheets to pill.

Having a calmer sleep will stop pilling from taking place. After that, wash your sheets in cold water, warm at worst, on the delicate or gentle cycle. Then if you are going to use your dryer, use the delicate or air dry option.

You can always hang dry then put the sheets in the dryer on very low heat i=for a few minutes to keep them nice and soft. Finally, it is not the thread count that matters when it comes to pilling.

It is the weight of the fabric. For sheets, you want those varieties that weigh 4 ounces or more.

Our Buying Guide to Flannel Success

Flannel is a very soft, comfortable fabric to have next to your skin. It is also easy to work with. So to help you find good quality flannel fabric we created this little buying guide.

  • 1. Pick the best quality - It goes without saying that you may save a few dollars buying the cheaper quality flannel, you are going to end up paying more in the long run. Cheaper quality flannel is thin, flimsy and does not last. It also pills a lot more.
  • 2. Look at the construction - For easier sewing, you will want thicker and heavier fabric. Especially the type that has little give to it.
  • 3. Feel the texture - Cheap flannel does not feel as soft and comfortable as high-quality flannel. You may get that scratchy feel.
  • 4. Your purpose - This will determine which quality of flannel you will buy. If you want something for temporary use, then save the few bucks and go for the cheaper flannel quality fabric.
  • 5. The size of the fabric - Always buy a little more than you may need. You never know when mistakes will happen and having more n hand will save you time, gas and other annoying things.

Some Final Words

It bears repeating, you may not find 100% pill-free flannel no matter which quality of the fabric you buy. That is okay as the above information will help you deal with those pills in a better way and help you cut the number of pills you see down.

But be on the safe side, buy the higher quality flannel fabric to make sure you do not see a large number of pills.

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