Knitting Essentials - Pilling Comb

Written By Caroline

Our Wooden Pilling comb is a great little tool for de-pilling your woollen garments and keeping them looking as good as new.   Our combs are small and light - so perfect for keeping somewhere accessible (I keep one on my dresser and use it all the time throughout the winter months!). Or pop one in your bag for travelling. 

Whether it's your precious hand knitted garments or store bought winter woolies, they are worth taking care of so they look their best and last the test of time. 

Why do Knits Pill?

You will often see in your knitted garments that it is the areas of high friction (such as under the arms) that little bobbles or 'pills' form.  This is due to the fine fibres working their way to the surface of the garment, then rubbing together to form small balls.  The finer and softer the fibre, such as cashmere and superfine merino, the more likely this is to happen.  

Yarns that are loosely spun are also slightly more likely to pill, as the loose fibres work their way to the surface.  A single spun yarn has a greater chance of pilling than a tightly spun plied yarn.   The image below shows a single spun yarn in pink on the left and a plied yarn on the right.  

single vs plied yarn structure

The good news is that the pilling tends to occur at the beginning of a knitted garment's life when the loose fibres escape and it should settle down over time.

a fluffy wool jumper with a pilling comb

How to Use the Comb

Pull the area you want to de-pill taut and gently draw the comb down the surface of your garment.  It really is that easy!  And oh, so satisfying making your knits look as good as new again! 


Benefits of a Pilling Comber over a Lint Remover

You may well have seen battery powered lint removers which will also remove pilling from your wools, however we prefer a comb because it will pull the fibres out of the fabric instead of cutting them. This will slowly reduce the pilling over time as all of the loose fibres will be removed.  It also means we don't run the risk of catching and cutting any yarns!  

pilling comb on a black background with a huge pile of fluff

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