It seems appropriate to begin this year with what I intend to be a new regular feature: Wardrobe Renewal. Sometimes we don’t need a new wardrobe, just a little refresh on the one we already have. That’s what Wardrobe Renewal is all about.
For this first edition I want to tackle something that makes our wardrobes look worn before their time: FUZZ.
Fuzz is cute on a puppy, or a baby’s head, but it isn’t so adorable on clothing.
I’m not talking about that luscious fluffiness you associate with a cashmere sweater. I’m talking about pilling, unsightly, extraneous fuzz… sweater bunnies.
People tend to tolerate fuzz on their clothing with a kind of “see no evil” attitude. The problem is that everyone else has their eyes uncovered. Think of pilling fuzz as your clothing’s visual bad breath. Everyone knows it’s there, few will tell you you need to do something about it, and it makes a bad impression. Thankfully, it’s easy to remedy.
Most people would say the easiest way to rid your knits of fuzz is a sweater shaver, but I’ve never had luck with those. My experience with sweater shavers is one of jams, the sweater being sucked up into it with the fuzz, and the wretched thing simply refusing to work at all.
There is a better way to get rid of all that fuzz. This is a case where low-tech is best. I tried several different techniques and this is what worked best for me. All you need is:
- a new disposable razor
- a towel
- a lint roller
- your pill-fuzzed knit
Spread your towel on a flat surface and lay your knit item on top of that. I found that the razor worked best when it had a little give beneath it, which is the reason for the towel.
Gently glide the razor over the surface of the knit. I found short strokes worked best.
Make sure your knit stays flat and doesn’t roll under the blade of your razor. If it rolls you can cut a hole in your knit. I know this one from experience.
The razor will scrape off any unwanted fuzz and pilling, leaving your knit looking new and often restoring the richness of the original color that had been muted by the fuzz.
Use the lint roller to collect the detached fuzz.
It’s that simple!
The technique isn’t just for sweaters. This beautiful, lightweight rayon knit top was dulled by a fine layer of fuzz after just one washing.
A little bit of work with the razor and the vibrancy of the print returned.
It’s important to use a sharp blade. If it doesn’t seem to be working as well as at first, try a new razor. How often you need to change depends on your project.
Renewing your knits is as simple as taking a disposable razor to them. You’ll be amazed at the difference a little sweater shaving can make. Bye-bye, sweater bunnies! Hello, sweater style!