Managing Fabric Pilling on Shades

Duette Cellular Shades
Duette® Cellular Shades

You’ve seen it before—those little pill-looking things that can hang off of some fabrics, making them look less than pleasing. You might be embarrassed by them, but pills actually aren’t a statement on the quality of the fabric. Pills can happen to even high-quality materials. At Blinds & Designs serving Marin County, we know how frustrating fabric pilling can be, so we’ve put together this post so you can understand what’s going on and how to deal with pilling, no matter your fabric. Read on for more! 

What Happens With Pilling

Fabrics are made of many fibers that can sometimes come loose and then move to the surface of the fabric. At this point, friction twists the loose fibers into small balls, which are then anchored by surrounding fibers that twist with them. This process can happen with all fibers, and you’ll see it most noticeably on human-made fabrics, which don’t shed the loose fibers as easily. Pilling frequently occurs with fabric that’s made from more than one type of fiber (like a cotton-poly blend)—the weaker fiber (cotton) breaks, and the stronger fiber (polyester) anchors the pills. Pilling can be triggered by a variety of elements, including how much moisture in the air and whether the fabric might rub against something frequently. Some items, like fleecy tracksuits or blankets, can even transfer pills to furniture fabric through abrasion. 

Avoiding Pilling With Window Shades

Unfortunately, you can’t technically avoid pilling—it’s just a natural part of the process for fabric fibers. However, some simple things can reduce it. For one, if you stain the fabric, try not to rub the stain. This usually loosens fibers and creates pills. Another way to help reduce pilling is to avoid touching Velcro to the fabric. Velcro will stick to the loose fibers and pull them up, which will start the pills.

Treating Window Treatment Pilling

De-pilling fabric is the simple removal of the loose surface fibers using either a battery-operated pill shaver or a pill comb. You can find either at your local fabric or sewing store. And rest assured, removing the pills will not impact the quality or performance of the fabric. In actuality, even if pilling reoccurs, it will be lessened and will eventually diminish because all of the extra, loose fibers will be gone. If you’ve noticed pilling on one of your fabric Hunter Douglas window fashions and are concerned about how to handle it, feel free to contact a Blinds & Designs consultant. We’ll be more than happy to discuss your situation and offer advice. 

Resolving Fabric Pilling in Marin County, San Francisco Bay Area 

Blinds & Designs offers a full line of quality window treatments to homeowners and commercial clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Marin County areas, including Burlingame, Hillsborough, Atherton, and Los Altos. With an ongoing commitment to high quality products and exceptional service, we’ve been serving our communities for over 26 years.

Stop by our showrooms in San Francisco or Belvedere-Tiburon to see a variety of motorization displays in our showroom or call 415-921-4212 Ext 101 for more information.

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