A pile weatherstrip has a pile of yarn ultrasonically welded to a backing strip inside a channel defined by flanges, called pile directors, which direct the pile perpendicularly with respect to the backing. A film provides a covering for the pile and is releasably attached to the flanges on the outside thereof. The covering film may have perforations therein which are located adjacent to the flanges near the upper ends of the flanges. Alternatively, a weak ultrasonic weld of the covering to the flanges, such as made at much lower energy than used to weld the pile and the backing together, provides a releasable attachment for the covering. The covering protects the pile, for example during installation in a frame which may be painted after the weatherstrip is installed. The covering can be released by being pulled off the pile director flanges after installation and painting.