How to keep your scarves from pilling and shedding


Your scarf will look good as new with these tips!

Nothing better than burying your face in a warm and fuzzy scarf when the wind is blowing all around you. But unfortunately, a newly bought scarf won’t stay as pretty as when you bought it. Pilling and shedding are the bane of every scarf’s existence. So how do you prevent them from negatively affecting your scarf?

Luckily, not every scarf will be affected by pilling and shedding in the same way, but some scarves do not only ruin themselves; they also take your clothes and coats down in the process. This all depends on the fabric of the scarf. The biggest culprit is wool. A wool scarf will pill and shed more than other types of scarves. Other fabrics that are prone to pilling and shedding are acrylic scarves, polyester ones and scarves made out of viscose.

The reason for the issue usually comes from wearing it and washing it. But how do we prevent our scarves from pilling and shedding?


As we said before: washing your scarf can result in unwanted fuzzies. This means that the way you wash your scarves can play a big part in the amount of pills that your scarf collects. Pilling happens because of friction. This means that whenever you wash your scarves (or sweaters) the movement and friction could be enough for pilling to occur. When you wash your scarves by hand, you can prevent pilling. If you add a little bit of distilled (or virgin) vinegar to this hand-wash, it might help with the shedding too.

If you do want to wash your scarf in the washing machine, be sure to use a special washing bag. That way your scarf won’t rub against other pieces of clothing and all the pills or fuzzies won’t be able to get to your other clothes. And when you’re done washing your scarf, hang it out to dry! Putting your scarf in the dryer also causes more pills and can damage your scarf.

Freeze it

This might sound surprising, but your scarf could really benefit from spending a night in your freezer. If you put your scarf in a ziplock-bag and leave it in the freezer for the night, the number of pills caught on your scarf will come off more easily and the hairs will come off at the same time. The pilling will eventually come back, but at least you would have found a way to remove pills and hairs safely. And another benefit to this: your clothes will become less static if you put them in the freezer for a night.

Avoid rubbing

Because pilling is caused by friction, it is important that you prevent friction from occurring. The easiest way to do that is to make sure your scarf does not rub against anything when you’re out and about. Just make sure that you don’t wear the handle of a bag or backpack over your scarf and keep it above your jacket and not inside of it. If you can prevent friction, then you will prevent shedding and pilling!

If you do end up with pills it can be very tempting to just pluck them off. But this could actually damage your scarf. If you really want to get rid of the pills on your scarf, you can use some small scissors to cut them off or a piece of velcro. Just make sure you don’t cut a hole in your sweater or that you do not pull the velcro off too abruptly.

Also read: Most people rarely wash these items and that makes them really gross

Source: Treehugger, RADAR | Image: Unsplash, Altansukh E