chloe. yarn. May 29th , 2018.
Both synthetic and natural yarns can pill. Pilling is a function of fiber content spinning method twist contiguous staple length and fabric construction. Single ply yarns or using fibers like merino wool are known to pill more due to the fact that in the former the single ply is not tight enough to securely retain all the fibers under abrasion and the merino wools short staple length allows the ends of the fibers to pop out of the twist more easily.
In general natural fibers tend to require more careful handling than synthetics because they can shrink felt stain shed fade stretch wrinkle or be eaten by moths more readily unless special treatments such as mercerization or superwashing are performed to strengthen fix color or otherwise enhance the fiber own properties.
Yarn is selected for different textiles based on the characteristics of the yarn fibres such as warmth (wool) light weight (cotton or rayon) durability (nylon is added to sock yarn for example) or softness (cashmere alpaca).
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