If you have followed me for a while, you know that I can’t live without my de-bobbler. This little piece of kit will revive any piece of clothing from those dastardly little balls that pop up out of nowhere. But what are they, why do they pop up, and what the hell are they called?!
The little balls are called pills, and it is called pilling. It can happen for many reasons, but mainly due to wear and tear from washing, movement and age of the fabric. Fabrics such as cotton, wool, polyester and synthetics are more susceptible to pilling due to the ‘knitted’ process to create them and the fact they are often made from a blend of different fibres. The shorter the fibre in the fabric, the more likely it will pill as it happens when broken and loose fibres bunch together. Which is why items like modern cashmere is a total nightmare for pilling (but that is a subject for a whole blog post on its own!)
But what can you do about it? Well, make sure you wash clothes inside out, use a good detergent and softener, as well as a lower temperature and gentler spin cycle. Do up zips and buttons before bunging it in the washing machine and don’t cram too much in. Ensure your beloved wools are washed on a specific wool cycle using a delicate detergent. I swear by Woolite, as it helps keep the fibres soft and strong (treat it like your hair, moisture and love) and always dry flat.
You will get pilling from movement and rubbing just going about your day, so what you need next is a trusty de-bobbler! You can get them fairly cheaply and from most general stores, but I spent a little extra on mine as I use it A LOT. Handheld and battery operated is best as it makes using it much easier. Lay your item on a flat surface and get that baby spinning – just be careful on raised areas, it can munch a hole in your clothes if you have any loose threads or bigger seams. If you want a closer shave, take off the guard.
It can be used on pretty much anything that needs a bit of T.L.C and is perfect if you have a piece of vintage that is looking a little tired, it will make the fabric look smooth and patterns sharp, and is a great little meditation tool if you get a cuppa on the go and your latest binge series on the telly. Soon you will join me with the joy of de-bobbling!