Recently, Chip Wilson participated in an interview here, where he said that Lululemon pants don’t work for all women. I am not going to comment on that directly here. This post is about how to prevent pilling in your Lululemon pants.
If your thighs rub together, like mine do, and have since I was twelve, then you might experience greater than average pilling in Lululemon pants. The main way I avoid this is by reducing my activity during wear of the more sensitive types of fabrics Lululemon uses to make its various types of pants. I know, I know, you’ve spent $90 on pants, and you want to wear them all the time & get use out of them. And you CAN! Honestly, Lululemon does stand behind their product and if after a year, your pants are pilled beyond belief, they will replace them. But if you’re like me, you’d rather invest in an ounce of prevention than have to make a return. Personally, I hate returning things.
This post is about the different kinds of fabric Lululemon uses to make their yoga pants and which ones, in my experience, hold up best with regards to pilling.
Basic Luon: This includes the classic Groove Pant, a lot of Wunder Unders, and many other Luon based Lululemon bottoms. These will pill, over time. I won’t buy older Luon bottoms on eBay, because they’re typically very pilled, unless the seller says otherwise, or there’s a very well-lit picture of the un-pilled gusset. But preferably, there would be both a verbal and photographed confirmation of the un-pilled gusset. Overall, these are actually not too bad, and I still think that even girls like me, whose thighs rub together can get a lot of good use out of these without them pilling too much. But after about 2 or 3 years, you might want to consider getting new ones or maybe trying a Fabric Depiller (Canadian friends, click here).* These remove pilling quite well, in my opinion. I actually have a before & after pic in this post.
Luxtreme: By far the best material Lululemon uses that is both compressive and resistant to pilling. I have some Luxtreme pants that I’ve had for years that have held up very well and are only now beginning to show wear between the thighs. My assessment also includes “Power” Luxtreme. Excellent choice for those of us who do care about whether or not our pants pill and by how much, over what period of time & usage, etc. These are my A+ recommendation in terms of usages per dollar.
Herringbone: Although Lululemon pants in Herringbone are quoted as still being made out of Luon, These pill like crazy, in my opinion, and within only one or two uses both this year’s and last year’s Herringbone Wunder Unders have pilled in the gusset. I only wear these on short walks, around my house and to the movies, or other short periods of activity. If you’re concerned about pilling, these are not for you.
Pique: Another winter-time offering made by Lululemon, also purported to be made of Luon, these don’t pill as badly as Herringbone, but definitely pill worse than my regular Luon Wunder Unders.
I’ll continue to add more examples & fabrics as I remember them or come across them. In the mean time, if there are any you think of, please let me know in the comments below! 🙂
Swift: This material is used to make the ever popular Dance Studio Pants. They’re really popular! I can’t believe I forgot about them. I’m not going to say that Swift never pills, but it really kind of doesn’t. If you’re really concerned about pilling, or don’t want to spend a ton of money only to find that your pricey Lululemon pants are pilling, I would highly recommend these. They are basically impervious to pills. I’m sure it’s possible that the Swift pants that I’m wearing could pill one day, but I’ve owned these for years, and aside from slight fading, they look fantastic.
UPDATE: Jan 2017
Hey Everyone, I just wanted to go back and update this post, because I know that some people do still land here from Google and tell all of you about newer fabrics that Lululemon has released like Nulux and Nulu.
Nulu: As I spoke about above, Luon does pill over time, especially in areas where there is a lot of rubbing, which, if you’re like me and don’t have a thigh gap, is between the thighs. Nulu, which is, in my opinion, a member of the Luon family, has been widely reviewed as pilling extensively. This is unfortunate, as the pants themselves do feel buttery soft, but I have not, as of yet, been able to justify a pair- even though they are gorgeous!- due to the reviews about extreme pilling.
Nulux, on the other hand, is a softer version of Luxtreme, and has the same silky qualities and will be less likely to pill over time and there are not extensive reviews about excessive pilling about these. These will probably behave much like the luxtreme and not pill a lot over time.
I hope this has helped! Let me know if there is anything else I can tell you about the differences between the fabrics in the comments!