You may have noticed small fuzzy balls on the sleeves, sides or armpits of your favourite sweater, jumper or cardigan. They can also form on knitted pants and even bedding and curtains.
These are called bobbles and they are caused by friction. With constant rubbing, fibres break and bunch up to form these small balls. That’s why they are typically found on areas that experience the most friction.
Bobbles can be bad enough to make you discard your new cardigan or pair of pants after just a few months. Luckily, they don’t cause any serious damage to fabric and you can get rid of them.
Here are some helpful tips for removing bobbles from wool jumpers. These tips also apply to any fabric that develops bobbles be it a woollen blanket or upholstery. Read on to learn more on how to remove bobbles from wool jumpers.
Use a Bobble Remover
The easiest way to remove bobbles without damaging the fabric is using a bobble remover, also called a fabric shaver.
Bobble removers have round heads with holes where bobbles get in. Beneath the holes are blades that cut off the bobbles as you move the shaver along the fabric.
The removed bits of fabric are then sucked into a small bin on the handle.
A bobble remover is not only safe and easier to use, it also works faster than other methods. You can smoothen a jumper in a couple of minutes. It’s also handy for bigger pieces of fabric like a blanket or upholstery.
Look for a bobble remover with adjustable blade height and speed. This will allow you to safely remove bobbles on different types of fabric including more delicate ones like cotton and linen.
Bobble removers are cheap, with most costing under £15.
Use a Razor
If you don’t have a fabric shaver or don’t want to buy one, you can use a razor. Make sure it is a single-blade razor – it’s safer on the fabric compared to a double-blade razor.
Lay the jumper flat on a surface and use one hand to hold it. Gently shave away the bobbles, being careful not to apply too much pressure.
Use adhesive tape to remove the bits of fabric you’ve removed. You can also just blow them away with your mouth.
A Velcro strip also works in a pinch. The abrasive surface easily removes pilings and bobbles without damaging the fabric.
The process is the same as with a razor. Lay the jumper flat and gently swipe the Velcro over the bobbles until they are gone.
Use a Sweater Comb or Stone
Similar to a fabric shaver, a sweater comb or stone is designed specifically to get rid of pilings and bobbles on fabric.
A sweater comb has very fine teeth. You simply brush the comb over the surface of the fabric to remove bobbles.
Sweater stones are made from pumice. The abrasive surface of the stone gently removes bobbles from the fabric without any risk of leaving a tear.
By the way, if you don’t want to buy any of these, you can substitute them with a fine lice comb or a bathroom pumice stone.
They won’t work as well as a dedicated bobble-removing stone or comb, but they are great in an emergency.
Whichever method you use to deal with bobbles on your wool jumper or any kind of fabric, remember to be gentle. Also, don’t do it too often as it can wear out the fabric, causing it to thin and fade.
To reduce formation of bobbles, use a gentler washing machine setting and turn your clothes inside out before washing them.
If you have some other ideas how to remove bobbles from wool jumpers, please leave a comment below.