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Anti-Pill fleece

A LOT of people use the term “anti-pill” fleece (or antipill) in a way that is intended to convey a particular type of leak-resistant fleece use on a pad backing.


This is largely due to the way fabric retailers (particularly in the US) label their fabrics and customers recommending it under this name alone and the fact that “pill” is an uncommon term so a lot of people don’t actually know what it is.

“Antipill” does not mean any particular thickness, density, quality or leak resistant properties of a fabric, the term means something else entirely!


The term “antipill” or “anti-pill) actually means that the fabric will resist “pilling” – “pilling” is where the fabric gets worn and creates little balls of fluff on it  (You see that often in places that get rubbed a lot, like armpits and between the thigh of garments).  Those balls of fluff are called … you guessed it …. “pills”  !!  (See Wikipedia).  That’s all.  So an “anti-pill” fleece (or any other fabric) is simply one that is made to resist getting pilly.

LOTS of different fabrics are also “antipill”.  It can possibly indicate the fleece is a reasonable quality, since they bothered making it antipill, but it has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the thickness, density or durability of the fleece – it just means it will not get balls of fluff on it….

Whether or not a fabric will get balls of fluff on it will not impact upon its ability to repel liquid – it’s a cosmetic thing only.

Since nobody likes their garments getting pills on them, a lot of the fabrics that would pill are made to be “antipill” these days, to avoid that.  So most synthetic fleeces are all “antipill” – because that is how they are made.  So you can get very thin antipill microfleece right up to thick antipill polarfleece.

“Antipill” does not mean the fleece is suitable as a waterproofing fabric.  Antipill does not mean it is a good quality fabric.  Antipill simply means it is less likely to get balls of fluff on it.