I was referred to this forum from the Life Hacks forum.

The surface of most of my knitted garments develop little balls of whatever the knitted material is (pilling). I own one toque that doesn't do this, so I want to understand what kind of material I'm looking at. The tag is confusing: hat tag listing materials

It looks like there are multiple layers, but it's confusingly written and hard to tell what the individual layers are. Can anyone in the industry decipher this?

The text on the tag lists the materials as follows (centred, and it is possible that some of the text is line-wrapped):

   100% Acrylic/Acrylique
     Inner Lining/Entre
    Doublure: Thinsulate
     65% Olefine/Olefin
       35% Polyester
Lining/Doublure: 100% Nylon

Here are photos of the exterior and interior.

enter image description here enter image description here

  • Can we have a better picture of the hat itself? That was we can connect the linings to the text for you better instead of assuming.
    – Matt
    Feb 6, 2018 at 12:48
  • @prosepraise: Thanks for transcribing the label contents into text. I took out the double-spacing in case the some of text was line-wrapped. Double-spacing would make that harder to recognize. Feb 7, 2018 at 12:35
  • By the way, if you want to remove the 'bobbles' from knitted items that you have already made, shaving the surface carefully with a normal disposable safety razor gets them off! I sometimes do this on jumpers where the arm movement has caused pilling on the sides of the jumper. Then gently brush off by hand or use sticky tape wound around the hand to remove the 'bits'!
    – user3025
    Feb 21, 2018 at 6:17
  • Thanks, user3025. I have a hand held device made for this purpose (and it does look like an electric razer). It's time consuming to get all the pills, however, and it has to be done regularly. Just trying to find a way to eliminate that. Feb 21, 2018 at 12:37

1 Answer 1


Pilling occurs when shorter fibers work their way out of a yarn and gather on the surface of the fabric. Generally, pilling occurs due to a given fiber's length/strength, the spin/ply rate of the yarn, and the surface abrasion the garment is subjected to.

As to the hat you're posting about, all layers and lining are composed of synthetic fibers. As such, they are extruded and artificially cut to lengths for processing; longer lengths are generally chosen, though this is not always the case. The yarn itself is also quite finely spun, so any given fiber will span multiple wraps over its length, helping secure it in place.

Also, synthetics tend to be fairly strong for their weight, especially olefin and nylon, and will resist breaking. When other fibers break, the resulting pieces of the broken fiber are then short enough to easily work their way out of the yarn.

As a hat, abrasion is probably pretty low. I do have a knitted hat that I occasionally wear under my bike helmet, and the added friction has caused the hat to pill considerably, when normally hats don't do that as much.

It's probably also worth noting that this hat has multiple layers. As such, abrasion to the inner surface of the hat will have little impact on the outer surface, and vice versa.

  • Thank you for the explanation, Josh. It seems that I should seek multilayer artificial materials. Regarding the label, can the following be considered separate items: (1) line 1; (2) lines 2-5; (3) line 6. If so, then lines 2-5 look like a material breakdown of thinsulate. Feb 10, 2018 at 20:47
  • I think that's probably the right interpretation.
    – jcarlson
    Feb 10, 2018 at 20:50

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