From clothes and sheets to furniture and pillows, odds are you have noticed bobbles or fuzzballs forming on your fabrics. This is called pilling, and while unappealing, your favorite garments and linens can be restored with these easy steps.

What is Pilling?

When broken fibers group together and form small knots or balls, pilling occurs. This is caused by friction and typically appears on areas of clothing that experience the most wear. 

Certain materials, such as cotton or polyester blends, or varying fiber strengths, are more susceptible to pilling. Additionally, loosely woven fibers, such as your beloved bulky knit sweater, are prone to pilling. Simply put, pilling is the pits!

Preventing Pilling from Day One 

On laundry day, prevent clothes from pilling by turning them inside out before washing. This helps protect the surfaces of clothes from rubbing against one another and reduces damage done by clothing elements such as zippers. 

Wash fabrics that are more likely to pill on a delicate cycle and in a garment bag. The mesh bag protects delicate items from coming into contact with rougher fabrics. It can also be a gamechanger on days when separating delicate items from other laundry isn’t realistic.  

After washing your clothes, skip the dryer for delicates and loosely woven clothes. Tumbling creates additional friction between garments, which can increase the chances of pilling.

Scratching the Surface: Steps to Remove Pilling from Fabric

Unfortunately pilling can’t be reversed, but you can remove it to improve the look of your clothes. There are a variety of specialty tools available to safely remove pilling, including defuzzers and fabric shavers. If you’re looking for a DIY solution, look no further than your bathroom. A standard razor used for shaving will also do the trick. Simply lay your item on a flat surface, pull the fabric tight and shave over the pilling. 

Knowing how to prevent pilling from the start can help keep your favorite clothes looking as good as the day you got them. But if pilling does occur, use those easy-to-find tools and revive the look of your wardrobe in mere minutes.