Don’t sweat your aging sweaters
These low-tech methods can help resurrect your wardrobe
Death-by-pilling is the sad fate that befalls my favourite sweaters.
It’s as if on cue, the fibres recognize they’re loved and let themselves go. They tangle and twist into little lint balls that sit stubbornly on the once-smooth fabric, announcing: “I’m loved and I don’t care what I look like!” But that plan backfires, because it’s straight to the back of my closet for aging items.
Cruel, I know. But I’m trying to change. That’s why I’m seeking guidance on how to resurrect sweaters from the sartorial dead.
Going straight to the source, I asked Google for answers. What I found was four low-maintenance methods on life hack websites and in articles that promise to eradicate pills. These methods required only basic tools — i.e. your hands — which appealed to me, but if you’re serious about de-pilling, you could always invest in a sweater comb. Yes, it’s a thing. Test 1: The razor method Tool: Razor Test: Taking a five-blade razor, I ran the razor carefully over a spot on the fabric five times. I got worried about putting a hole in the sweater so I stopped there. Result: The razor removed about half the noticeable pills. Rating: 3/5 Test 2: The scissor method Tool: Scissors Test: Using a pair of kitchen shears, I carefully cut away each pill. Result: It worked, but was tricky and labour-intensive. Since I had to pull each fluff off by hand after it was cut away, it makes sense just to use your hands. Rating: 2/5 Test 3: The pulling method Tool: Your hands Test: I pulled the fluffs one by one off a 10 centimetre by 10 centimetre section of the fabric. It took about two minutes. Result: This method removed almost all the pills but it takes time. Rating: 5/5
Test 4: The Velcro method Tool: Velcro Test: Taking a piece of Velcro that was attached to a rain jacket (working with what I have here, people!) I brushed the Velcro over a spot on the fabric three times.
Result: It worked surprisingly well, but the Velco also pulled at the fabric. The section looked a bit fuzzy-looking by the time I was done. Rating: 3/5
The Conclusion: Don’t give up on your poor, aging sweater. Instead, put those hands to work and get pulling.
Note: I tested these methods on a “performance fleece” sweater. Your results may vary depending on fabric.
Fingers serve as a good method to rid your sweater of pills — if you have the time. 3