How to remove pilling from woollens

A simple hack to transform daggy to dashing in mere moments!
Hannah Rizzo

There’s nothing worse than pulling out your favourite jumper to snuggle into, only to find it covered in hundreds of fuzzy, daggy little balls. Simply a sign of wear and tear, pilling of your woollen items can cause them to look old before their time. Rather than relegating them to your behind-closed-doors wardrobe, what if there was a free, fast and simple way to remove fabric pilling, giving your garment an instant makeover and a new lease on life?

How to remove pilling from jumper
The team at Banish show us how to use a safety razor to gently remove evidence of pilling fabric from garments – in a flash! (Credit: Hannah Rizzo)

What is pilling?

Pilling generally forms around areas that see the most action – on garments it’s the cuffs, collars, armpits and the spot where your handbag rubs. On blankets and throws pilling tends to appear all over as handling is less concentrated in one spot.

Is pilling a sign of bad quality?

Pills on clothing are a sure-fire way to lose interest in the garment, no matter its age. Any woollen item can experience pilling and it can also occur on man-made and blended fabrics. It’s all about how long the fibres are and how much abrasion the fabric receives with constant rubbing. The longer the fibre, the more resistant it is to pilling.

how to remove pilling from blankets
Warm up without pilling on blankets by using our clever life hack. (Credit: Cath Muscat)

How to remove pilling from wool

There are small electronic gadgets specifically designed to remove pilling from garments and woollen items, but our simple hack is to use a safety razor for the cheapest and best way to remove pilling from wool. Since every plastic razor ever made is still on the planet, using a second-hand plastic razor works just as well plus prevents it from ending up in landfill!

Simply lay the garment flat and gently “shave” the pills away, working carefully in one direction. Take extra care to avoid catching or cutting the garment with the razor blade. 

How to prevent wool from pilling

It’s difficult to avoid pilling on clothing but swapping your handbag to the other arm, or avoiding wearing woollens on days you’ll be most active can reduce pilling on fabrics. Hand washing your woollens extends the life of a garment and reduces pilling on the surface. Washing your woollen garments inside out helps to prevent pills forming too.

Tools to remove pilling from wool

safety razor to remove pilling from wool items


Ladies’ safety razor, Banish


Available in four colours, the old-school style combines with a modern-day social conscience for an everlasting solution to hair and pill removal.

fabric comb to remove pilling from woollen garments


Eezy fabric comb, Spotlight


Fit for purpose, this simple fabric comb takes the removal of pilling back to basics.

Women's safety razor to remove pilling from wool


Women’s 3-piece safety razor, Banish


Save your jumpers and the planet at the same time with this elegant ladies’ safety razor.

Philips fabric shaver


Philips fabric shaver in Black, Myer


This battery-operated shaver fits comfortably in your hand and collects fabric pills as it goes into a reservoir that slides off to be emptied.

Triumph fabric shaver


Triumph rechargeable lint remover set, Big W


If you don’t mind a bit of a buzz, this rechargeable lint remover set uses AC power to charge the unit with can then be used cordless to remove pilling from garments including fleece fabrics, collecting pills along the way.

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