Imagine a day when you don’t have to worry about nasty pilling on your woollen jumpers or bedsheets. That day could be closer thanks to a new textile treatment developed by the Hub short polymer fibres team in collaboration with industry partner HeiQ.

Hub researchers testing No Fuzz treatment

Hub Chief Investigator leading this research, Dr Alessandra Sutti, said pilling was caused by friction, as loose fibres in the material rub together and become tangled, forming annoying fuzzy balls.

“The key to avoiding pilling is to either remove fluffy fibres or to stabilise the fabric structure so fibres can’t easily loosen and tangle,” Dr Sutti said.

HeiQ’s NoFuzz uses short polymer fibres to bridge the gaps and strengthens loose fibres with adhesive polymer structures, reinforcing fabric yarns and resulting in a significant improvement against pilling.”

HeiQ Australia chief executive Dr Murray Height, co-founder of HeiQ Materials AG, and Hub Partner Investigator said pilling and abrasion resistance in general was one of the biggest problems affecting clothing, especially when it came to staple fibre textiles such as wool and natural/synthetic blends.

“The need for an off-the-shelf treatment that can be applied to any fabric without noticeable impact on its feel or appearance has been discussed since the early days of the IFM/HeiQ partnership,” Dr Height said.

“The textiles industry has tried to deal with this issue for years, but none of the current methods are entirely satisfactory – most fabric-based treatments result in an unpleasant feel to the fabric and reduced comfort.”

This off-the-shelf treatment can be used on all fabric types making garments more robust to wear and tear, extending their useful lifetime. A recent Deakin media release has on this research has attracted interest, you can read the release here.