How to prevent and remove sweater pills

Q. I wear a lot of light weight sweaters, mainly cardigans over tees and tanks. I buy a lot of them and no matter the brand or price, they all seem to pill up almost immediately upon wearing. The wear mostly seems to be from my handbags. The wear is across the front if I am carrying a crossbody or on the shoulder and side if I am carrying a tote under my shoulder. It does the same thing whether I paid $20 or $120 for the sweater. What can I do? Thanks!

A. Unfortunately, it is a sad truth that most sweaters will pill eventually, typically from friction. I usually find that finer weave sweaters made of a cotton or linen blend tend to pill less than chunkier sweaters made of cashmere, wool or acrylic.

The best you can do is try to minimize friction as much as possible. Make sure the bags you are wearing have straps that are soft and rounded without any rough edges or seams. Or better yet, choose a hand held satchel instead. Be sure you are hand washing or dry cleaning your knits to prevent any further pilling.

Finally, there are some products you can use to gently remove pills and bring your sweaters back to life including electric sweater shavers, fabric combs and sweater stones, depending on your preference.


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