Many people will refer to the gathering of the sweater fabric as “Fuzz balls” but this phenomenon is called “pilling”. It results from short or broken fibers on the surface of the fabric getting tangled together and forming a ball called a pill.
This happens simply from the natural abrasion of the fabric against objects and itself during normal use and wear. Pilling frequently shows up around the arm pits, the sleeves, and the front of the sweater where abrasion is most common.
It can be minimized…and here’s how
- Turn the garment inside out before washing
- Wash it using a shorter wash cycle
- Remove it from the dryer as soon as it is no longer damp (or lay it to dry right out of the washer).
Odds are, though, even if you’re really careful you’ll still see these fuzz balls, especially on your chest, under your arms and along your sides where the fabric get the most tension.
Here’s how to remove the fuzz/pilling from home.
- Spread the item (usually a sweater) tightly over a flat surface. Now get a razor. Yes, even just a cheap one will work! Now, shave the sweater. Sounds crazy, but it won’t damage the fabric itself and it will scrape off those annoying pills. *This is how we do it when you ask us to do it for you.
- Electric pill removers work great if you’re nervous about using a razor. These are very small, easily transportable and inexpensive.
- Sweater stones do a good job too. But use the razor to get the stubborn pills.
- You can de-pill using scissors to cut the fuzz balls off, but it will take longer and you’re more likely to cut a hole in the fabric that way.
If you’re gentle with your sweaters and follow the washing tips above, you can keep your sweaters looking fresh and pill-free for a long time. Of course, if you bring them to us to professionally & gently clean, we will keep an eye on the fuzz balls and de-pill them as needed on a regular basis. 🙂