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Thread: Merino sweater already pilling

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    Super Moderator DocDave's Avatar
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    Merino sweater already pilling

    I bought a Gap merino sweater a few weeks back . I've worn the sweater maybe half a dozen times and the arms on the sweater are already pilling. WTF! Not impressed.

    Now I realize I didn't pay a fortune for the sweater. But still, I would have expected the sweater to last a little longer before the pilling started. Or am I expecting too much?

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    Super Moderator LesserBlackDog's Avatar
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    Less expensive wool thread generally utilizes shorter wool fibers. Because the fibers are shorter, they are more prone to unraveling slightly and turning to fuzz and subsequently pilling. TBH it’s not super surprising that the sweater would start to show some wear in areas of high friction. Disappointing, yes, but not surprising.

    You can use an old shaving razor (preferably with the lube strip taken off) to gently shave off areas of raised fuzz and pilling. But generally speaking you’re going to get a much shorter lifetime out of a cheaper wool garment than a nicer one utilizing longer wool fibers in its threads.
    Ben

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    Member AlejandroLopez's Avatar
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    The Gap alone operates about 3,600 stores globally and has a major online presence to the combined tune of about $1 billion in annual sales, not to mention the other brands that make up the stock. There is absolutely no way on this Earth that a company could source that much merino wool and have it be of anything even remotely resembling decent quality. What I'm trying to say here is that it's not really a place to buy decent clothes from so much as it is a stock to invest in.

    You're much better off hunting for quality wool sweaters at thrift stores and on eBay than you are buying wool sweaters from any operation that relies on sales volume in the billions. You'll also end up paying less up front for the former and avoid the eternal replacement cycle that comes with cheap stuff. As a bonus, you won't be giving your money to a company with a long history of using sweatshop and child labor.

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    I’ve often bought sweaters from Gap and Banana because they are one of the only places that sell tall sizes. But the last sweaters I bought from them did pill very quickly.

    I bought a cardigan from Brooks Brothees a few weeks ago. It seems to be better quality and feels warmer too.

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    Gap sweaters fit me very well. They are pretty much the only sweaters I buy. I am happy if I get 2 seasons out of them. I only buy them when I can get them for 50% off (which is quite often :lol: ). I figure 2 years for something that costs $20-$30 is OK in my book. But I usually don't go merino, for some reason, I like the cotton blends better.

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    Super Moderator DocDave's Avatar
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    I think you guys hit the nail on the head. Look for quality garments. The sweater from the Gap didn't cost me a fortune so it shouldn't be all that surprising that the material is pilling. Of course that doesn't mean I'm happy about it, as I would have expected to get at least ONE season out of the sweater before it started looking bad.

    I have some garments from LLBean and they seem to be of better quality than Gap. I may wait for a 25% of sale (Black Friday?) and invest in a couple of quality items. We'll see. The wife always get upset with me when I purchase items this close to Christmas...

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