What Causes Bobbles On Clothes?

What causes bobbles on clothes?

What causes bobbles on clothes?

Bobbles on clothes can be a real pain. They’re unsightly, and worse still, they cause your sweaters and jumpers to pill more quickly. The good news is that there are lots of easy ways to prevent bobbles from forming in the first place, as well as reduce their size once they appear. Here we explain what causes bobbles on clothes so you can avoid them in future – although it might take a little bit of effort!

What are bobbles?

So, what exactly are bobbles?

Bobbles are small balls of lint that form on clothes. They're caused by friction between the fabric and the clothes, which then sticks together in clumps. That's why you see them mostly on black clothing: it's harder for dirt to get out from between cloth fibers!

If you've ever seen a blanket that looks like someone has been crumpling it up in their hands all day long, then you know how easy it is to create lint balls on fabric surfaces like sweaters and jackets. In fact, if you ever find yourself wearing a thick sweater or pants outside during wintertime (or any season), chances are you'll notice some lint sticking out here and there after just walking around for 10 minutes or so!

Clothes with small fibers will pill more often

  • Fabrics with a high cotton content will pill more often.
  • Some fabrics are more prone to bobbling than others.
  • Some fabrics are more prone to bobbling in the wash than others.
  • Some fabrics are more prone to bobbling in the dryer than others.

Other causes of bobbling include weather and how the clothes are worn

  • If you're washing your clothes in cold water, you may experience more bobbling than if you were using warm water, as this is thought to help reduce the amount of shrinkage that occurs during drying.
  • How you wear clothes can cause them to become damaged more quickly. For example, if your top gets caught on something when it's hanging up or in a drawer, there will be friction between the fabric and whatever it catches on. As a result of this friction, small holes can form where damage has occurred—and those holes will produce slightly different results from regular bobbles after they've formed because they're only around 1mm long instead of being long enough to easily see what caused them!

Wash at the right temperature

When you wash your clothes, it's essential to use the right temperature. The right temperature will help to prevent bobbles on clothes and other problems.

The right temperature depends on the fabric of your clothing. For example, if you have cotton clothes, you'll need to use warm water in order to keep them soft and breathable for longer. If you have wool or cashmere clothing then cold water is best because this will stop it from shrinking or becoming damaged over time.

As well as being good for fabrics, using warm or cold water is also better for preventing pilling (when little balls form on clothes) and linting (when threads stick together).

One way to reduce bobbles on your clothes is to use a fabric shaver

The best way to reduce bobbles on clothing is to use a clothes of fabric shaver. Clothes shavers are small handheld devices that vibrate at high speed, breaking up the bobbles and removing them from your clothing. It's best to use the clothes shaver before you wash your clothes, as this will help prevent further bobble formation during washing. We have an article reviewing the best fabric shavers available today if you’re interested in going down this route.

Wash with a fabric conditioner

If you are finding that your clothes are becoming more prone to bobbles, try washing them with a fabric conditioner. This will help to reduce the chances of bobbles forming.

A fabric conditioner will also keep your clothes looking fresh and new for longer.

Use a laundry bag

If you’re concerned with protecting your clothes from bobbly appearances, then a laundry bag is the perfect solution.

There are many different types of laundry bags available and each one has its own unique properties. Some are made from mesh, some from plastic, some from cotton and others from polyester.

Some are lined while others aren’t; some have handles while others don’t. It really depends on what you want to use them for as materials will vary depending on how much you wash your clothes at home or if they need protection while traveling abroad without access to a washing machine (for example).

Choose the best washing cycle

The first step in avoiding bobbles is to choose the right washing cycle. The best washing cycle for your clothes depends on their fabric and the amount of detergent and/or softener you use, so it's important to experiment with different settings until you find one that works best.

  • Use a cool wash. You should always use warm or hot water unless you are washing items like linen, which can shrink if exposed to high temperatures. However, when it comes to avoiding bobbles, the temperature isn’t as important as how long each item spends in the machine: The longer an item spends in there soaking up moisture from other shirts or pants (and sometimes even dirt), the greater its chance of getting damaged by mould and mildew growths—and these can end up looking like little white balls on your clothing as well!
  • Use a low-speed spin cycle so that your clothes are tumbled at lower speeds when being rinsed out; this helps prevent excessive stretching of fibers in fabrics such as cotton and linen while also preventing wrinkling during drying time later down line—which leads us to the next tip:

Wash like with like items

  • Wash lint-free items alone, such as wool or cashmere, to avoid them rubbing against other clothes and transferring fibers.
  • Use a gentle detergent like Wool & Cashmere Shampoo which is designed specifically for washing delicate fabrics like silk or cashmere that may be more prone to pilling than regular cotton garments. Don't use bleach! The harsh chemicals can break down the fibers in silk and ruin its shape over time."

Wash jumpers inside out

Washing jumpers inside out helps to prevent the bobbles from forming in the first place, and will also make it easier to remove them once they've formed.

Wash jumpers inside out because:

  • It prevents friction, which causes bobbles.
  • It makes it easier to remove bobbles once they have formed.
  • It's better for your clothes, as tumble drying is more gentle on knitwear than washing at high temperatures or ironing.

Remove bobbles before they get too big

To avoid having to deal with bobbles on your clothes, it's best to catch them early. You can remove smaller bobbles by hand or with a bobble remover. To do this, flip the garment inside out and gently pull at any loose fibres until they come free from the fabric. Use a sewing needle (or even a regular sewing pin) for stubborn bits that won't come off easily.

To prevent pilling in the future, check whether your clothes have been treated with anti-pilling additives before buying them—if so, make sure you read the washing instructions carefully and follow them when it comes time to launder. If not, then you can use an anti-pill spray after every wash cycle as an extra layer of protection against pilling.

Reduce bobbles and keep your clothes looking fresh for longer by following our tips

To keep your clothes looking fresh, it's important to take care of them. You can do this by following a few simple steps:

  • Use a clothes shaver - A lot of bobbles happen when clothes are not removed from the machine cleanly or have been stored for too long. Using a clothes or lint remover will help remove any unwanted fuzz and keep your garments looking crisp.
  • Wash at the right temperature - Most fabrics, like cotton and wool, are best washed at a low temperature (below 40°C). If you're unsure if they should be washed on a short cycle or a normal cycle with other items, test out both methods to find out which one works better for your laundry situation! We recommend using cold water as well because heat can damage many materials like cotton that shrink in high-heat environments.
  • Wash with fabric conditioner - It might seem counter-intuitive but adding extra oil onto the surface of your clothing actually helps prevent static cling! This is because these oils act as coatings for the fibers within each garment which reduces friction between individual fibers thus reducing static buildup over time."


Bobbles are an unfortunate side effect of wearing clothes, but there are ways to reduce their appearance. You can use a laundry bag and wash your jumpers inside out or choose the right washing cycle for your garments. Using a fabric conditioner is also a good idea because it helps to soften up fibres so they don’t stick together as much. If you want to keep those new trousers looking like new then take them off when you’re sitting down or lying on the floor – anything that causes friction against another surface will cause bobbles!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide on what causes bobbles on clothes and remember to check back in the next few weeks for further fabric care information.

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