Don’t sweat your ag­ing sweaters

These low-tech meth­ods can help res­ur­rect your wardrobe

StarMetro Vancouver - - CULTURE - Ka­t­rina Clarke

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




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