Does merino wool clothing tend to pill?

Does merino wool clothing tend to pill?

GREEN ROSE merino thermal clothing is made from 100% merino wool fabric. This fabric is soft and pleasant, and it is not as scratchy as conventional wool might be. However, you might have a question, does merino wool clothing tend to pill? For starters, we can tell you that GREEN ROSE customers have had a wide range of answers to this question.

GREEN ROSE customer reviews

‘I’ve worn my blue turtle-neck shirt for three years. There has been no sign of pilling or bobbling. I would wash it in my washing machine and it always looked like new. However, I wore it once on an 8-hour long plane journey and afterwards I’ve noticed a lot of pilling, particularly on the back and at the bottom of the sleeves. If I had worn a newly bought merino wool shirt, I would have thought that it was poor quality. However, in this case a shirt that has been worn for a long time and always looked like new suddenly had lots of bobbling. What makes merino wool clothing pill?’

‘We bought your merino romper and we only use it when we go outside. We always put an overall suit on top of that. After a month the romper was covered in pill. Is that normal and what should we do to prevent this from happening?’

‘We have two GREEN ROSE sleepsuits. One blue and one white. The feet on the blue one have bobbled, but on the white one they haven’t. Why did the blue one bobble?’

‘Your merino wool clothes are very soft and pleasant to wear. I wash them frequently using my washing machine and, contrary to merino wool clothing from other companies, I have not seen any bobbling at all.’

This is only a small selection of our customer reviews regarding pilling (also known as bobbling) on GREEN ROSE clothes. There are a number of factors – including different usage, maintenance, and wearing environment – that influence what merino wool clothing looks like after it has been worn for some time.

Why does merino wool clothing pill?

Merino wool fabric is made from thin threads of wool fibres. When the clothing is worn, some of these finer wool fibre threads come out from the main thread and become tangled up together. This is a completely natural process that can only be prevented in the manufacturing of the fabric by introducing other synthetic fibres or using other additional processing measures.

The main reason why merino wool clothes bobble is friction. The more the clothing rubs against and touches other surfaces (such as a blanket, a carpet, an overall suit, chair covers, etc) that are synthetic, unclean or just structurally more prone to cause bobbling, the more the piece of clothing will bobble – i.e. the sections of the clothing that rub against a different surface will get covered in little lint balls.

What are GREEN ROSE thermal merino wool clothes like?

The mission of GREEN ROSE is to make natural clothes that have gone through as little processing as possible and are close to nature. These days a lot of clothing manufacturers pay a lot of attention to fancy colours, pictures, and designs. Meanwhile, we aim to pay the most attention to our fabrics being natural and functional.

GREEN ROSE aims that even nowadays a person would have the opportunity to choose a natural piece of clothing for himself or herself and their children. We want our customers to feel comfortable, natural, healthy, and that their clothing would feel like a ‘second skin’. The merino wool fabric that is used by GREEN ROSE does not contain any synthetic additives that help to prevent bobbling but take away the naturalness of the fabric.

GREEN ROSE uses a completely natural merino wool fabric that has not been treated with any additives (synthetic or natural), thus we cannot guarantee that your clothing will not pill. However, we do have some tips on how to avoid it and keep your clothing looking as new for as long as possible. Before we share these, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that even if you were not able to avoid pilling and your piece of clothing has bobbled, this does not affect its naturalness and functionality. It still:

  • ✔ Helps you maintain optimal body temperature. Keeps you warm in winter and protects you from overheating in summer,
  • ✔ Does not feel scratchy and you can feel its softness,
  • Does not make you itchy,
  • ✔ Often becomes your ‘second skin’,
  • ✔ Is naturally breathable,
  • ✔ Wicks away the moisture when you sweat, stays relatively dry and keeps you from getting too cold.

How to avoid pilling?

Here are some tips on how to avoid pilling (or bobbling):

  • Turn your clothes inside out before washing.
  • ✔ Use a gentler setting on your washing machine, such as a wool setting or a hand-wash setting.
  • ✔ Use a detergent intended for wool. These often include lanolin and other natural ingredients that minimise fibre separation from the main thread.
  • Do not use a fabric softener. Clothes made from merino wool are naturally soft and thus a fabric softener is unnecessary. In addition to that, it lubricates the threads in the fabric which makes it easier for the fibres to ‘escape’ from the main thread. 
  • ✔ The colour of your clothing does not impact bobbling (or lack thereof). However, when the clothes bobble, it is less visible on lighter colours compared to darker colours. Thus, if it’s a concern that you have, choose lighter colours.
  • ✔ Merino wool clothes are at their best when they are worn next to your skin. Thus, most of the clothes offered by GREEN ROSE are underclothes. If you are concerned about wearing bobbled merino wool clothes, choose clothes that are meant to be worn as a base layer. This will still enable you to enjoy the advantages of merino wool and any bobbling will be less of a concern when the piece of clothing is worn under other clothes.
  • Aim to prevent unnecessary friction when you wear your clothes (such as constant rubbing against belts, handbag handles, etc).
  • If your children will be playing on a fluffy synthetic carpet when wearing merino clothes, it is likely that the clothing will bobble, so be aware of that.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that a piece of clothing that has been worn for a longer time will tend to pill less since the shortest loose fibres will have already shed from the main thread.

If you would like your piece of clothing to not pill at all, then you need to look for clothing made from merino wool mixed with other synthetic fibres. These kinds of clothes do not bobble; however, such fabric is also not 100% natural. GREEN ROSE only offers clothes made from 100% natural fabrics.