Couch Maintenance

Sofa, So Good: The Ultimate Guide to Preventing Fabric Pilling

Dealing with couch pilling is a tough pill to swallow. If you want to know how to remove pilling from a couch, read this fabric pilling guide!

What is couch pilling?

What is pilling? Sometimes your couch gets all those little annoying fabric balls, right? Well, that's called pilling! Most people think that it's the sign of something apocalyptic (in a furniture sort of way). However, that's not the case because couch pilling is more common than you think! Fabric pilling is a natural occurrence with most fabrics and most types of couches and the degree of intensity or speed at which it happens can vary greatly. You can take measures to prevent pilling and you can take measures to remedy pilling.

Pilling can happen for different reasons, like:

  • Friction: Oh, the constant rubbing and friction! It's like a never-ending dance party on the fabric's surface, leaving behind these cheeky little fabric pills.
  • Low-quality fabric: Ah, the couch with the pull out bed made from bargain basement fabric. It's like it couldn't resist the temptation of pilling and just had to join in on the fun. Lower quality fabrics are often more prone to pilling than higher quality fabrics (but higher quality fabrics certainly pill too!).
  • Abrasive materials: Picture this: denim and pet claws, the party crashers of the fabric world. They show up, uninvited, and leave their mark in the form of pilling. Talk about leaving a lasting impression, right?

How do I stop my couch from pilling?

If you want to prevent or at least minimize that annoying pilling on your couch, here are some steps you can take:

  • Pick fab fabric: Go for couches that are swathed in top-notch fabrics like microfiber, leather, or materials so tightly woven, you can practically hear them say "bring it on". Ultimately, if you don't want to worry about pilling at all, you can simply go with a smooth fabric like a microfiber or a velvet!
  • Handle with care: Keep away from sharp objects, abrasive materials, and treating your couch like a trampoline. We all want our couches to live long and prosper, right?
  • Pamper and preen: Give your couch some love by regularly vacuuming it with a brush attachment. Say goodbye to those pesky loose fibers and hello to a plusher seating experience. Remove pilling from fabric by utilizing a fun pilling fabric remover! They seriously work very well. Try it! Really!

Will my couch ever stop pilling?

Essentially, you can't totally avoid couch fabric pilling, but there are a few things you can do to keep it to a minimum:

  • Natural wear: Don't panic if you notice a bit of pilling on your U shaped couch, it's just the fabric's way of shedding some excess fluff. It's like a stylish haircut for your furniture!
  • Improvement with high-quality materials: Higher quality fabrics pill plenty too but definitely skip the cheap stuff and splurge on a top-notch couch. Not only will it make your living room look fabulous, but it will also help keep pesky pilling at bay. Again, your furniture will thank you!

How to remove pilling from a couch?

Is your sacred sofa suddenly experiencing a bout of unsightly couch pilling? If you want to learn how to get pilling off a couch, then you've come to the right place.

  • Pilling shaver or pilling comb: Wave goodbye to fabric fuzz! Get yourself a pilling shaver or comb and watch those pesky pills disappear faster than a rabbit in a hat. This is the quickest and safest method to remove pilling from a couch.
  • Manual removal: Ready, aim, snip! If you don't want to buy a pilling remover for a sofa, whip out a pair of scissors and carefully trim away those unsightly pills. Or, grab a fabric brush and give them a gentle rub-down to bid them adieu.
  • Laser treatment (or maybe not): Imagine blasting those fabric fuzzies with lasers! Well, unfortunately, we can't help with that just yet, but we can assure you that a pilling comb or manual removal will work wonders.

Does Scotch-guard help with pilling?

While Scotchgard has many beneficial uses, helping with couch pilling isn't necessarily one of its best uses. So, check out more below:

  • Want to keep your couch spill-proof? Enter Scotchgard! It's like having a superhero shield against stains and spills. But it's not exactly the method for how to get pilling off a couch.
  • While Scotchgard has many other benefits, saving you from a pilling sofa isn't one of them. Even though couch cushion pilling might still make an appearance after spraying your sofa, at least the Scotchgard will be there to save the day when spills strike.
  • So while Scotchgard won't single-handedly vanquish the pilling monster, it's got your back by reducing the chances of those fluffy nuisances popping up due to unexpected liquid mishaps. Consider it your trusty sidekick in the fight against spills and stains! It's a spill-proof solution, but not a pill-proof solution.

Do all fabric couches pill?

When it comes to fabric couches, pilling can be an unwelcome surprise. However, while all fabric couches are generally prone to this fluffy phenomenon, upholstery pilling depends on factors such as fabric quality and tightness of the weave.

  • Picture this: you're relaxing on your couch, sipping your favorite beverage, when suddenly you notice those dreaded little balls of fabric forming. Alas, it's like the couch has decided to grow a beard overnight!
  • The likelihood of this unsightly phenomenon, known as pilling, depends on a few factors. And, one of the key players is the quality of the fabric itself. Think of it as the couch's fashion sense - high-quality, tightly woven fabric is less likely to go all fuzzy on you.
  • On the other hand, if your couch is made from low-quality or loosely woven fabrics, it might be prone to more pilling than a sheep in a sweater. So, choose wisely!

Do fabric shavers work on a couch?

Certainly! Big time. Fabric shavers can be quite handy for addressing couch fabric pilling. Here's why they work:

  • Pill obliterator: Say goodbye to those pesky fabric pills that plague your daybed couch! Moreover, fabric shavers come to the rescue, effortlessly zapping away those unsightly blemishes and giving your couch a fresh, smooth look.
  • The ultimate fabric star: From cozy cushions to luxurious upholstery, fabric shavers fearlessly tackle pills on all types of fabrics. They're like a secret weapon against fuzziness!
  • Simplicity at its best: Using a fabric shaver for a couch is a breeze. Just glide it over the pilled areas and watch the magic happen. No complicated instructions or frustrating processes. It's pilling elimination made easy!

So, if you notice that you've been cursed with a pilling sofa, a fabric shaver can help you get rid of the dreaded pills and restore the cozy charm of your seating.

Is pilling on couches normal?

Well, well, well, looks like you've got yourself a pilling couch. Fear not! We shed some light on this very common fluffy phenomenon:

  • The pillow's rebellion: Pilling is quite common on fabric couches, so you're not alone in this battle against the fuzzies. It's like a mini rebellion happening right there on your sofa!
  • The fabric's dance: Fabric fibers love to mingle and tangle, resulting in the formation of those pesky pills. Think of it as a secret rendezvous between threads, creating fuzzy little islands on your couch.
  • It's a snuggle effect: Fabric pilling on furniture can occur due to natural wear and tear, especially when you enjoy cozy moments on your couch. Consider it a testament to the love and cuddles your couch has experienced throughout the years.

However, there are ways to tame the fabric pilling beast and keep your couch looking fabulous.

Does pilling mean low quality?

Ah, the age-old question of fabric pilling on furniture and its relationship with quality. We've got you covered, so let us guide you through this puzzling fabric maze:

  • Not quite a direct relationship: Pilling, is not solely an indication of low quality. It's more like a mischievous side effect of fabric fibers mingling and tangling.
  • High-quality fabrics stand a chance: While pilling can occur in even the most luxurious of fabrics, high-quality materials with a tight weave are less likely to succumb to those pesky pills.
  • It's a tango between factors: Couch pilling can be influenced by various factors, such as fabric type, fabric blend, and even the way you care for your couch. So, it's not just about quality but also how you treat your furniture. It might be time to invest in a pilling remover for your sofa like a pilling shaver or fabric shaver for your couch.

So, don't let pilling be the sole judge of quality, my discerning friend. There are plenty of other factors to consider when evaluating the overall greatness of your couch.

Does pilling get worse?

  • The pilling brigade: Pilling can be like a persistent little army, gradually gaining strength. But, it doesn't always get worse! Pilling tends to be most noticeable in the early life of your couch. As time goes on, it may stabilize and become less of a bother. Factors like fabric type, quality, and how you care for your couch can also influence whether pilling gets worse or not.
  • Defying pilling odds: You have the power to fight back against worsening pilling! Regularly removing pills using a fabric shaver for couch can keep pilling at bay. Show those pesky pills who's boss! Opting for high-quality fabrics and tight weaves can also help minimize future pilling. Give your couch a fighting chance against the forces of fuzziness!

So, while couch fabric pilling can sometimes gain momentum, it's not an inevitable downhill battle. By being proactive and taking good care of your couch, you can keep pilling in check and enjoy a cozy, pill-free seating experience.

What fabrics are worst for pilling?

We've got some insider tips to help you navigate this upholstery pilling predicament. Here are the top fabrics to keep an eye on:

  • Polyester's pilling party: Polyester, oh polyester, you love to party and leave behind a trail of fabric pills. Be wary of this synthetic friend, as it can be quite prone to pilling. We're talking more of the woven kind. Smooth polyester fabrics like microfiber and velvet can actually be pill-free more often than not!
  • Semi-synthetic sorrows: Fabrics like rayon and viscose may feel luxurious, but they can be magnetized by pilling. Proceed with caution if you value a smooth and fuzz-free seating experience.
  • The lure of loose weaves: Beware of fabrics with loose weaves! They may seem cozy and inviting, but they can host the most elaborate pilling parties. Lastly, keep an eye out for materials like bouclé and tweed.

So, when it comes to choosing a fabric that's least likely to embrace the pilling lifestyle, steer clear of these troublemakers. Remember, your couch deserves only the finest fabrics that defy the fluffy temptations of pilling!

A smiling man with short brown hair and a beard stands on a beach during sunset. He is wearing a black short-sleeved shirt with small white dots. The ocean and sandy shore are in the background, creating a warm and relaxed atmosphere.
Alex Back is the founder and CEO of Previously, he was the co-founder and COO of the popular furniture brand, Apt2B, which was acquired by a large US retail furniture chain in 2018. He worked to integrate Apt2B, one of the very first online furniture retailers on the Shopify platform, into the operations of the 100 year old larger business entity and was deeply immersed in the business operations of both online and brick and mortar retail for 4 years before leaving in 2023 to start Working in various parts of the furniture industry since 2004, he has 20 years experience in retail sales, e-commerce, marketing, operations, logistics and wholesale manufacturing and distribution. He has worked extensively with partners such as Costco, Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon and his work has been highlighted in many publications such as Forbes, CNN and HGTV, among others. Alex is delighted to bring his experience and authority on couches and the furniture industry to this platform, along with many of his industry colleagues who are helping him keep the audience informed and engaged on a daily basis.
Alex Back CEO & Founder