What to do when Cashmere is Pilling?

Understanding Cashmere Pilling: A Comprehensive Guide

At aboutwool.com, we pride ourselves on providing valuable information on various aspects of premium fabrics like cashmere. In this guide, we’ll delve into the common issue of cashmere pilling and provide you with expert insights on how to effectively address and prevent it.

What Causes Cashmere Pilling?

Cashmere is known for its luxurious feel and exceptional softness, but it’s not immune to the natural wear and tear that all textiles experience. Pilling, those tiny, pesky balls of fibers that appear on the fabric’s surface, is a common occurrence. It happens due to friction, abrasion, and the unique characteristics of cashmere fibers.

Cashmere Pilling

Friction and Abrasion: Everyday activities such as rubbing against car seats, handbags, or other rough surfaces can cause friction and lead to pilling. Even the simple act of wearing your favorite cashmere sweater can contribute to this issue over time.

Cashmere Fiber Structure: Cashmere fibers are incredibly fine and delicate. Their natural structure makes them more prone to tangling and forming pills compared to coarser materials. However, it’s this very fine texture that contributes to cashmere’s unmatched softness.

Preventing Cashmere Pilling

Preventing Cashmere Pilling

1. Choose Quality Cashmere Products

Investing in high-quality cashmere products from reputable brands is the first step in preventing pilling. Quality cashmere is less likely to pill because it undergoes thorough processing to remove shorter fibers, leaving only the longest and strongest ones.

2. Gentle Hand Washing

When it comes to cleaning your cashmere items, opt for gentle hand washing. Use lukewarm water and a mild detergent specifically designed for delicate fabrics. Avoid using harsh chemicals or machine washing, as they can weaken the fibers and increase the likelihood of pilling.

3. Dry Flat

After washing, gently squeeze out excess water from your cashmere garment. Avoid wringing or twisting it. Lay the item flat on a clean towel to air dry. Hanging or using a dryer can stretch and damage the fibers, making pilling more likely.

4. Store Properly

Proper storage can also make a significant difference. Always fold your cashmere items neatly and store them in a cool, dry place. Avoid overcrowding your closet, as this can lead to friction between garments.

Cashmere FactsDetails
OriginCashmere wool comes from the undercoat of cashmere goats, primarily found in regions such as Mongolia, China, and India.
Luxurious SoftnessCashmere is renowned for its unparalleled softness and smooth texture, often described as “soft as a cloud.”
Fiber DiameterCashmere fibers are incredibly fine, with a diameter of around 14-19 microns, making them finer than human hair.
WarmthDespite its lightweight feel, cashmere provides exceptional warmth, making it ideal for winter garments.
HypoallergenicCashmere is naturally hypoallergenic, making it suitable for those with sensitive skin or allergies.
Pilling TendencyCashmere is prone to pilling due to its fine fibers, but high-quality cashmere pills less than lower-grade varieties.
DurabilityWith proper care, cashmere garments can last for many years, maintaining their quality and softness.
Color RangeCashmere is available in a wide range of colors, making it versatile for various fashion choices.
SustainabilityEthical and sustainable practices in cashmere production are essential to protect the environment and animal welfare.
CostHigh-quality cashmere can be relatively expensive due to the labor-intensive process of gathering and processing the fibers.
BlendingCashmere is often blended with other fibers, such as silk or cotton, to enhance durability and reduce pilling.

Addressing Cashmere Pilling

If you’ve already noticed pilling on your cashmere, don’t worry; there are steps you can take to address it.

1. Use a Cashmere Comb

A cashmere comb is a handy tool designed to gently remove pills from the fabric’s surface. Use it in a downward motion to avoid damaging the fibers.

Cashmere comb

2. Sweater Shavers

Electric sweater shavers are another effective option for removing pills. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent any damage to your cashmere.

3. Manual Removal

For a DIY approach, you can also manually remove pills by carefully pinching them between your fingers and gently pulling them off the fabric. Be patient and take your time to avoid damaging the cashmere.

4. Preventive Measures

To further minimize pilling, consider wearing a lightweight undershirt beneath your cashmere sweater. This can reduce direct contact between the cashmere and your skin, decreasing friction.


Cashmere pilling is a common issue, but with the right care and maintenance, you can enjoy your luxurious cashmere pieces for years to come. By following our expert tips, you’ll not only prevent pilling but also extend the life of your cashmere wardrobe.

Remember that high-quality cashmere products are less prone to pilling, so investing in premium pieces is a wise choice. With proper care and attention, you can keep your cashmere looking pristine and maintain its exquisite softness.

Disclaimer: This article provides general information about cashmere pilling and preventive measures. For specific concerns regarding your cashmere items, please consult the manufacturer’s care instructions or seek advice from a professional cleaner.

Additional Tips for Cashmere Enthusiasts

Rotate Your Wardrobe

Regularly rotating your cashmere items can help distribute wear and reduce friction on specific garments. This simple practice can significantly prolong their lifespan.

Use Cashmere-specific Detergents

Invest in a detergent specially formulated for cashmere. These detergents are milder and gentler on delicate fibers, preserving the fabric’s softness and integrity.

Consider Professional Cleaning

For especially cherished cashmere pieces or those with complex designs, professional cleaning may be the best option. Experienced cleaners know how to handle cashmere delicately and can remove pills effectively.

a women with cashmere scarf
Generated by https://articlefiesta.com/

Storage Bags

If you plan to store your cashmere items for an extended period, consider using breathable storage bags. These bags protect against dust and moisture while allowing your cashmere to breathe.

By incorporating these additional tips into your cashmere care routine, you can maintain the quality and appearance of your cashmere garments for years to come.

What is cashmere?

Cashmere is a luxurious natural fiber obtained from the undercoat of cashmere goats. It is prized for its exceptional softness, warmth, and fine texture.

Where does cashmere come from?

Cashmere goats, primarily found in regions like Mongolia, China, and India, produce cashmere wool. These goats are known for their soft and downy undercoats.

Is cashmere different from regular wool?

Yes, cashmere is different from regular sheep’s wool. Cashmere fibers are much finer, softer, and more insulating than traditional wool fibers.

Why is cashmere considered so luxurious?

Cashmere is considered luxurious due to its softness, warmth, and rarity. The fine fibers and labor-intensive harvesting process contribute to its premium status.

How can I care for my cashmere garments?

To care for cashmere, hand wash it with a mild detergent, avoid wringing or twisting, and air dry it flat. Proper storage and occasional de-pilling can also help maintain its quality.

Why do cashmere garments pill?

Cashmere garments pill due to the natural characteristics of the fine fibers. Friction and wear cause the fibers to tangle and form tiny balls on the fabric’s surface.

Can I prevent cashmere pilling?

While you can’t completely prevent pilling, you can minimize it by choosing high-quality cashmere, proper care, and avoiding activities that cause friction.

Are there eco-friendly cashmere options?

Yes, some brands prioritize sustainable and ethical cashmere production, ensuring responsible practices in both animal welfare and environmental impact.

Can cashmere be blended with other fibers?

Yes, cashmere is often blended with materials like silk, cotton, or even wool to enhance durability, reduce pilling, and create unique textures.

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