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Contrary to popular belief, pills are caused by wearing (rather than washing). When fibers loosen, they form little balls, which tend to appear on loosely woven woolens, knitted synthetics, and blends. These pills commonly occur in areas of friction, such as cuffs and where arms rub along sides.
We consider woolens to include fibers such as sheep’s wool, lamb’s wool, cashmere, merino, pashmina, angora, mohair, camelhair, and alpaca, as well as any wool blends and wool-like synthetics made to look like wool, such as acrylic.
Steaming is ideal for woolens. Sometimes woolens appear wrinkled after washing, but you cannot iron wool. Instead, steaming will release the wrinkles and fluff the yarns.
It’s always important to clean woolens before storing, as perfume, body products, body oil, food, and dirt can surface later and be much harder to get out. After washing, de-pill heavier wools and thicker gauge yarns with the Sweater Stone before packing in a breathable fabric such as The Laundress All-Purpose Storage Bag. Never store using plastic, cardboard, drawer liners, and contact paper, as they all attract bugs and encourage bug reproduction.
Lay garment on a flat surface.
Work gently in one direction using short strokes.
De-pill prior to laundering.