How To Remove Bobbles From Clothes

Isn’t it annoying when your favourite jumper starts bobbling?

That old favourite you’ve worn a lot, but has seen better days. Well, we think we have a few options for you to make that old go-to jumper look great again with our guide on how to remove bobbles and pilling from clothes - also none as the art of de bobbling!

In this guide, you'll learn:

  • What bobbling actually is
  • The options you have, good and bad, for removing bobbles from your clothes
  • The options that are best for different types of fabrics
  • And much more...

What is bobbling?

Bobbling, or more commonly known as pilling or lint is the build-up of small balls or fabric threads on the surface of a fabric. It normally occurs when fabric puckers and intertwines and is most common around areas of a garment where there are creases of folds, such as sleeves or cuffs. Bobbling happens because a garment is worn and washed, with a higher chance that bobbling will appear with more wear and more washing.

Bobbles appear on all types of fabrics, bur are more common on fabrics such as polyester and viscose.

Take a look at our guide to what is pilling and why does it happen for more information.

How can bobbles be removed from clothes, jumpers and other clothes?

Here are a few options for removing those unsightly bobbles and making your clothes look like new again...

Your hands!

Whilst definitely not the most time-efficient method, one option for removing those annoying bobbles on your favourite jumper is pulling them off with your hands. Beware not to pull too hard and damage or pull the threads! You can be very precise and target the more obvious bobbles with this method.

Shaving off the bobbles

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to remove lots of bobbles, particularly from garments made of more sturdy materials, is with a razor. Simply run a disposable razor over the garment and then pick off the fuzz at the edge of the garment with your hands or cut them off with a pair of scissors. You will need some decent light and remember to be careful with the razor.

A disposable shaver can be used for removing bobbling

Rolling the bobbles off

If you don’t fancy tackling a razor or have a more delicate merino or cashmere garments, you could try a velcro hair roller or just a strip of velcro.  Running a roller over the delicate garment will easily remove those pesky bobbles and all you have to do is pull the bobbles off the roller with your hands or a comb to clean it up. You can use a velcro strip if you don’t have a roller, but it isn’t as easy as a roller and is obviously more time-consuming. 

Pulling the bobbles off velcro strips can be oddly satisfying though!

Velcro rollers can b used for removing bobbles

Sticky taping the bobbles off

If the bobbles are located in high-impact areas under the arms, cuffs or elbows, which tends to be the case, the simple sticky tape will do the job. For larger areas, or the entire garment try a lint roller. The roller will l save you an awful lot of time and can be used regularly if the garment continually bobbles.

A lint roller

Cutting bobbles off with scissors

If you only have a few bobbles a quick way of removing them is to cut them off with a pair of scissors. Make sure they’re sharp and ideally dress-making or fabric scissors, but they’ll do the job nicely and quickly without impacting the garment itself.

Targeted de-bobbling with tweezers

If your garment is particularly delicate and you have plenty of spare time, you could use tweezers to gently pull off bobbles. Great for delicate wools, like Cashmere and Merino. All you need is some patience with this method.

Using a Sandpaper Sponge

For high wear areas around the elbows and cuffs, sandpaper works well. In fact, the best option is a sandpaper sponge which is much easier to use than normal sandpaper. Tighten the fabric and gently rub the bobbled area with the sandpaper block, taking care not to press too vigorously as you might impact the fabric. You can also use the rough side of a normal kitchen sponge, but it’s not quite as effective as the sandpaper option.

An Electric Bobble Remover

By far and away the quickest and easiest option is an electric bobble remover. Small and portable devices that are purpose-built to carefully remove bobbles from all types of fabrics.  There are a number of inexpensive options available and we have la guide to which bobble removers to buy to help you find the best model for you. The investment is definitely worth it, will save you a huge amount of time and, importantly, will keep your garments looking great for longer.

Fabric shaver

For anyone looking at how to remove bobbles from jumpers, an electric fabric shaver or lint remover is by the most efficient option and can really make your favourite jumper looking better for longer. For a more in-depth guide that a look at the best fabric shavers for jumpers.

We hope you find our guide on to how to remove bobbles from your favourite jumper useful. We do have a number of other fabric care guides and even a guide to the best bobbles removers that will help you keep your clothes looking better for longer.Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

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