BOUGHT A NEW JUMPER OR TWO THIS SEASON? HERE ARE MY TOP TEN TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR KNITWEAR BOBBLE FREE.
So, what is pilling, or bobbling as we more commonly know it?
Bobbling happens when the tiny fibres in fabric rub together causing them to break, tangle and form small fuzzy balls or “pills” on the surface of the fabric. Even our most expensive cashmere jumpers, sadly, are not immune. These fabrics as well as silk blends, have beautifully soft and slippery fibres which makes them so luxurious, however also easier for any broken fibres to move the surface of your garment.
Blended and synthetic fabrics are highly susceptible, since the yarns will more easily break away from each other. And yes, we do all love our chunky knits don’t we? Unfortunately for us, the looser the knit, the higher the chance of these pesky little bobbles forming.
Basically, everyday wear along with washing causes friction, especially in the areas under the arms, where bags rub on shoulders or even where a coat rubs against our precious new knitwear. Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which to prevent pilling and to increase the longevity of our garments.
TOP TIPS FOR AVOIDING BOBBLES
Number 1: Wash on a short, delicate cycle. Most machines now have a pre-set delicate cycle with a gentle spin speed thus leading to less abrasion.
Number 2: Use a liquid rather than a powder laundry detergent. The powder particles can rub against the fabric causing fibres to break.
Number 3: Use a fabric softener. This will help condition your clothing so there is less chance of sticking and rubbing.
Number 4: Wash different fabric types separately. Avoid washing heavier clothing like denim with your delicate items since these will not only cause abrasion but also snagging due to zips and buttons catching.
Number 5: Wash inside out. Should any pilling occur they will be contained to the inside of your garment.
Number 6: Don’t overload your washing machine. Ensuring there is plenty of space for your items to move around will lessen the amount of friction.
Number 7: Handwash if you can. This is the gentlest, although often not the most time effective way, to look after your knitwear.
Number 8: Avoid the tumble dryer. Air dry your garments – flat for knitwear to keep their shape – and this will avoid unnecessary extra friction and is more environmentally friendly too!
Number 9: Don’t wash your knitwear too often. An alternative is to place your garments into a bag and pop them into the freezer for a few hours. This will kill off any bacteria trapped in the fabric. Once you have them air dried, they will again smell fresh as a daisy, and you will have avoided the washing machine friction entirely. Genius.
Number 10: Brush your knitwear gently and regularly with a clothes brush, to smooth down fibres.
BUT WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE BOBBLES?
Well, fortunately all is not lost. There are a few things that you can do to tackle those bobbles if they do start to appear.
Number 1: Use a lint brush. John Lewis do a lovely wooden double-sided clothes brush with a lint remover on one side and bristles on the other for smoothing out those fibres. At only £8.50 this is a must have item for your wardrobe.
Number 2: Use a razor. Go easy with a clothes razor to avoid cutting the fabric especially around buttons and stitching. Just place your garment onto a flat surface, pull gently taught and shave the bobbles away.
Number 3: Invest in a fabric shaver. The Philips Fabric Shaver is battery operated and always receives great reviews. Widely available at as low as £14.50.
Now go and enjoy your beautiful new knitwear! See you again soon.
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