+ How to de-pill your clothing

One of my most frustrating things that I encounter in the thrifting/refashioning/and clothing in general world is pilling. Pilling is the balling up of fibers on your clothing. Aka, these black jeggings and sweater vest. Just to make a point, I wore them both the same day and shaved my entire outfit. Yes, shaved! Just borrowed the razor from the shower and some masking tape I had laying around and went at it. Or you could go buy a lint shaver from the store, but I find this to much more successful since I have done both. Just make sure to do it slowly so you don’t accidentally slice a hole in your clothing. I have done that before, sadly.
1. Wash
2. Shave
3. Use a lint roller or tape to pick up the pilling



  1. My friend and I were just talking about doing this! We were trying to explain it to a friend, but when she tried it she cut a hole up the side of her favorite cardigan – sad day!

    xx Ashleigh

    • Yes, that happened to me too with one of my floral knit tops that adored. Luckily I cut it right under the armpit. You must be very slow and gentle. I did it while I was wearing it and I found it easier. When I had it flat on the table, that is when I cut it. I’m not sure why that helps, but it does. Hopefully she will have better success next time!

  2. this is so genius. i have one of those ridiculous sweater shavers but i find it doesn’t really “work”. i’m going to try this!

  3. These tricks are a life saver! Great tutorial, thanks for sharring.


  4. i must do this. seriously i hate when this happens.
    you are a genius!


  5. Oh I do this too! I buy cheap razors to use for this though, b/c once I’ve shaved a sweater, the razor is useless on my legs. Great use for the dollar store razors though!

  6. oh. my. gosh. i wish i had known this years ago before i threw my clothes out because of those little balls. you are a lifesaver!

  7. I have also used my husbands electric razor, it looks like I’m shearing a sheep.

  8. Be glad you shaved it! Most lint shavers I’ve used ended up cutting holes in my clothes, despite how lightly I pressed.

  9. o! what a good idea! who knew? thanks!

  10. Great idea! Off I go to save (make that shave!) some old clothes of mine!:D

    Great post dear!
    best, zia

  11. This is amazing!

  12. i needed this!

  13. Thanks for the tip! The after pics look a million times better!

  14. I remember when I first saw this on Anthea Turner’s “Perfect Housewife” show, it was just the solution I’d been looking for. I’ve used it a lot and it always works like charm, you just have to be careful.

  15. Oh… THANK YOU!! I needed this! Thanks. :)

  16. Brilliant! My mind is blown!

  17. Genious!!

  18. Brilliant! Thank you so much for sharing!!

    the lowercase h

  19. This is great! I have a bunch of leggings I want to bust out soon for Spring and I’m sure a bunch of them are like this.
    Jillian – http://epic-thread.blogspot.com

  20. This is going to come in handy , great advice .

    xo Meg<3

    Meghan Silva’s Blog

  21. I just found your blog and literally read the whole thing!! I’m a Mormon too and I can never find many cute modest outfits here in Australia so you have totally inspired me to try making some of my own clothes! What would you suggest I start with? Is a dress too adventurous?
    Ellen xx

  22. This is a great tip! Thanks for sharing. (:


  23. What?! Serious?!

  24. Wow. So awesome! I can’t wait to de-pill everything in my closet!

  25. Well done! I have a de-piller that is actually a pumas stone. I picked it up at the local fabric store when I worked there…. but it’s from http://www.sweaterstone.com and it works wonderfully also! The nice thing there is that you don’t have to worry about cutting a hole. I do like your idea though! Now that I think of it… you could just use a pumas stone that you would use on your feet. ‘Cept I think I would use it just for de-pilling! LoL…

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  27. genius, i’ll try (:

  28. Oh I so needed this. I have a lovely J.Crew gold weave sweater but it unfortunately has pilled like no other since I wear it so often. I’m so excited that I’ll be able to wear it again!!! You’re a sweater saver. xx

    Allie @ callmesassafras.wordpress.com

  29. HA I usually just sit there and pick off the pills and it takes forever and doesn’t really work! Thanks for this.

    -hanalei @ foggydress.wordpress.com

  30. great idea, thanks for sharing! I have a newly thrifted coat that is perfect except for some weird pilling <3

  31. Thanks alot for sharing. I de-pilled a sweater dress I haven’t been wearing for a while because of the pilling today and wrote about it on my blog. I put a link to this blog post, I hope that’s cool. You can look at the post here:

  32. this is so great. I feel a little silly for not thinking of that before. I just used it on a bunch of my workout pants. So brilliant.

  33. Thanks for the tip. I’ve done this in the past but I had since forgotten about it.

  34. Great tip, worked like a charm. Thanks for sharing!

  35. Interesting. Never knew there was a solution to that problem. Thanks for sharing.

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  38. Great!

  39. Thank U Winter!! :) That is the coolest thing! I have lots of razors…

    D-FUZZ-IT Sweater and Fabric Comb
    I have taught clothing & textiles classes for many years and I AVOID ALL SHAVERS, whether a hand shaver with 1 or more blades or the battery operated rotary blades. They ALL have CUT threads/ yarns in my clothing, even when being careful (and then I have to “catch” and mend EVERY yarn/ thread cut or a hole will enlarge with wearing/ washing) .

    The item I recommend is the:
    D-FUZZ-IT Sweater and Fabric Comb-
    manufactured in NY,NY and a registered trademark of Oak Hill Industries Corp. Copyright© 2000 Oak Hill Industries Corp, New York, NY 10028 All rights reserved.

    Oak Hill HAS NO KNOWLEDGE THAT I AM POSTING OR RECOMMENDING THEIR “COMB”. It is simply a great product & I can’t keep it a secret.

    You can buy it from MANY PLACES such as Wal-Mart, Joann’s Fabrics, AC Moore, etc. I usually pay under $3 or $4 (regular price). I have even had a “race” with the battery shavers and the fabric comb can de-pill an area as quickly as the shaver and much safer. The “comb” cannot cut the fibers unless they were already weak, thinned out and READY to break from anything rubbing against it.

    The “comb” is like a piece of textured, rough metal window screen grid wrapped over an edge & held in a plastic handle. Small but effective! I always keep several around. They do DULL their roughness over time and need to be replaced – but very inexpensive. I wish I had an investment in that company due to the many people I have recommended the comb or given away as gifts/ hostess gifts.

    Weird: but it works best with one hand holding fabric comb & brushing or scraping away with fabric placed over my rounded thigh, not flat on a table.
    Caution: felt is a non-woven fabric and care needs to be taken not to scrape the pills off too hard and take off too many fibers where fabric may already be starting to thin – as in decorative appliqués sewn in “abrasive areas” (i.e. front of top).

    Several years ago, in 2008, I wanted to give them as “favors” at my daughter’s wedding. For some unusual reason, I had a hard time finding them for a period of time at any price in stores or internet (After 6 mo. / 1 yr. they came back in stores and are again carried regularly). I contacted the manufacturer and was excited/ pleased that I could buy them in a bulk box – but had to buy a minimum of “a gross” [=144 items (a dozen dozen)].
    No problem, and FOR A SMALL ADDITIONAL CHARGE they printed and applied very attractive gold labels with the new couple’s names and wedding date (2 lines).
    D-Fuzz-It Sweater and Fabric Comb in Tortoise with Goldtone was my pick. The comb came inside a very informational plastic sleeve. WHAT A SUCCESS AND HIT WITH ALL! I ordered enough for the wedding guests and to give away in future years.
    A Google search will show numerous pictures and purchase options. I prefer this brand & it is inexpensive. I have NOT tried the “stone” which some posts have mentioned and I’ll look forward to trying it sometime.

    Further textile fiber note: the synthetic, man made fibers are stronger than natural fibers. The repeated rubbing/ abrasion against the fabric produces the pills mainly due to the stronger fibers “hanging on”. That is why I usually buy only 100% cotton sweaters and AVOID the 100% man made fibers or blends (ie. acrylic, polyester) The weaker, natural fibers – especially 100% cotton don’t pill because the fibers slough off (cotton, wool, ramie, flax/linen, rabbit). However, some wool and rabbit yarns can pill a lot but those pills come off much easier.

    I keep a fabric comb handy in my closet or desk at work, to quickly take off pills from the sides of my slacks in the thigh area on fabric of 100% polyester or blends. A quick task and sometimes 100% cotton is not available in dressier clothing. Be careful not to “snag” threads on more fragile or more loosely woven fabric. If you do snag, buy the small, inexpensive latch hook often called a “knit picker” to quickly pull thread to back side (inside) of garment.

    I hope this helps a lot.

  41. Wooohooo!! I thought my pants were ruined–not anymore!! Shaving them worked great, even though I felt CRAZY shaving over my pants! =)

    Thank you!!

  42. Thanks for sharing this.

    Totally agreed with Suzie, a good old D-Fuzz it is always a way to go :)

    • Yes Jamil- you read the posting- and with the fabric comb you don’t have to be concerned mending holes made/ left from the blade of a hand or battery “shaver”.

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  46. can you do this on swimsuits?

  47. DARLEEN says:

    I LOVE IT! I just tried this technique and my leggings look great now ready to go and sing Karaoke at Caddy’s! YAYYY…….THANK YOU SO MUCH! I gotta share this website!

  48. 新百倫

  49. Hello, I question whether it is worth the risk buying those cheap razors http://www.open-youweb.com/tanie-golarki-i-maszynki-do-zmechaconych-ubran-opinia/ is much better to buy something better. I read about them, different opinions and I do not know if it’s worth the risk.

  50. How can you tell if its pilling your a bug eating your clothes

  51. Jo Rose says:

    Help needed please…
    I’ve bought a cheap black coat from a site in China. Its arrived and as described is fake fur lined. The trouble being that the clothes I am now wearing are literally covered in black fibres. How can I stop these shredding? Is it worth washing or am I just plain old stupid for buying a cheap coat from china? Any suggestions would be really appreciated.

  52. such a great purchase. I would recomend this sword to any one that likes getting nice suprises.

  53. Had this now for little over a week Wow… Love this it is all real I have many other swords and for the price this is the only one that is the real deal.

  54. Great Katana sword at a great price! Very beautiful, pre-sharpened, just a work of art at this price! No doubt there are many better swords out there at hundreds, even thousands more, but for the price I could not be happier! Nicely balanced, solid, and sharp both in looks and to the touch. Very good description of the sword on Amazon, shipping time was very fast, and it was packaged very well. This is a company doing it right!

  55. The item is pretty much as described. very good quality. not sharp at all but im sure it would be no problem to put a edge on it. ordered it for my husband for valentines day an now thinking about getting myself one. would highly recommend this seller an katana to anyone who wants a good quality one for reasonable price.

  56. I like it, I like it alot. very sturdy and heavy sword. I think I will cut alot of pig carcasses with this sword!!

  57. This is my seventh samurai sword that I have purchased over the past 25 years. I must say that I was very impressed with the overall quality of this sword. It has a great feel of balance and strength and looks like a sword that you might otherwise pay around $800. The Tsuba (handgaurd) is beautifully detailed along with the rest of the sword ornamentation. I am extremely happy to add this beautiful sword to my collection.

  58. This is a sturdy katana, thicker than most blades used for tatami cutting. It is alo heavier and takes some practice to get used to, but when you are used to it, it slices through tatami mats like it is air! Very happy with it, so far no bend in it, while thinner blade katanas in use need work when hitting tatami the wrong way.

  59. I own and have used several live blades. This one is of better construction than all but one, which cost me $1000. The blade is almost full tang and well secured with two pins. The blade is well designed with a nice long fuller and comes semi-sharp. It took little time, however, to get it sharp enough to cut hairs. I have not done any Tameshigiri with it yet but have full confidence.

  60. This Katana is much better than described; balanced, very sharp, handle is well made much more than decoration, the wood scabbard is VERY well finished – same quality as the blade. Glad I purchased.

  61. Top notch product several cutting test and not even so much as a scratch on the blade nor any issues cutting. Product is exactly as it is suppose to be does come with a certificate of authenticity.

  62. This sword is absolutely beautiful. Great quality, good weight and balance. My only issue with the sword is the claw and the wrapping that’s tied to it. The wrapping is a really cheap looking material that appears worn on the edges. Also unlike most samural swords it’s not beautifully tied/wrapped around the sword. Aside from that I really like the sword. Oh and one more thing, the picture used to show the sword is accurate so don’t expect it to be white as it is in the movie. However in my opinion, the color of this sword/sheath is better than that of the movie.

  63. Awesome tool! Couldn’t be happier!

  64. This sword is really cool! It is a really strong sort of plastic material. It is strong, and doesn’t seem like it will break for a long time. It also came in like 3 days…with standard shipping! Would definitely buy again.

  65. With this item being used-in good condition, I expected to see some evidence of use but this Katana came to me in like-new condition. I received more than what I expected and I am very satisfied. *What would be really useful, for shopping, would be to have a link to specifically select “warehouse deals” to be able to browse everything that is available in the warehouse deals department.

  66. Super sharp out of the box, well packaged , beautiful sword.

  67. I was worried about a 29 inch blade affecting the balance, but I don’t even notice. Well made, put it through a few tests and nothing came loose. Cuts like a champ.

  68. I now see why so many good reviews. It has been repeatedly reviewed by others that use it and test it a bit, I won’t. I will keep it in nice new condition and display due to its very well done quality and looks. Really like this one.

  69. Just received it. Haven’t put it to the test yet, but the quality is there. Very sharp, clean lines, solid. Former martial artist, so have some experience.

  70. Seems awesome. Using it for practice and meditation, i love it.

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  2. […] Those annoying little balls of fiber you get all over some of your clothes — how in the world to get them off in a clean sweep? Don’t do what I do and try to pick them off one by one. There’s an easier solution to this and it just involves one of your old disposable razors and some tape. Smart!Get The Instructions: Cotton + Curls […]

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