There are generally three types of pilling that can occur on clothes:
1. Balling Pilling: This type of pilling forms small, localized balls or clusters of fibers on the fabric surface. These balls are often visible and can range in size from tiny to larger. Balling pilling is the most common type of pilling and is typically caused by friction and abrasion during normal wear and washing.
2. Fuzzing Pilling: Fuzzing pilling refers to the formation of loose, fine fibers on the fabric surface. It creates a fuzzy or hairy appearance on the garment. Fuzzing can occur when shorter fibers work their way out of the fabric structure due to abrasion or mechanical stress.
3. Fibrillation Pilling: Fibrillation pilling occurs when individual fibers of the fabric start to split or break down into smaller fibrils. This type of pilling is often associated with fabrics made of synthetic fibers, such as polyester or nylon. Fibrillation pilling gives the fabric a rough or worn-out appearance.
It's important to note that these types of pilling are not mutually exclusive and can sometimes occur together on a garment. The severity of pilling and the specific type observed can depend on various factors, including the fabric composition, fiber length, yarn structure, and the care and usage of the garment.