Pills are small balls of fiber which form on fabrics that have loose fibers. These fibers tangle together, creating a small ball of fibers called a pill. While pills may fall off of some fabrics naturally, fabrics that have strong fibers that anchor the pill to the surface may not lose their pills. In these cases, the pills need to be removed. Removing pills from flannel sheets can be a tedious process as flannel has very strong anchor fibers; pills can be cut off or sometimes removed by washing.
Wash flannel sheets in 1 cup of white vinegar instead of laundry detergent. This can help reduce pilling and prevent future pilling.
Add 1/2 cup of vinegar added to the rinse cycle or in a plasticizer ball to prevent pills from forming.
Cut pills off manually, either with scissors or a safety razor. Stretch the sheet over a smooth, round surface and snip pills off or shave them. This will remove pills, but can be time consuming. Follow with regular vinegar rinses when washed to prevent pills from re-forming.