Pilling can cause your furniture to look worn and tired as if it needs to be replaced. We assure you that a replacement is not necessary. Though pilling is certainly not a desirable accent, it is fortunately extremely easy to eliminate. Learn more about what causes pilling and how to remove it.
Why is my sofa pilling?
Pills appear on upholstery when groups of short broken fibers on the surface of the fabric become tangled among themselves in a tiny knot or ball, which is also known as a pill. The pills are formed by rubbing and abrasion that occurs during normal use. Pills occur most in areas where the fabric is exposed to the most day-to-day use, such as the center of a cushion or the arms or your upholstered furniture. Although it is most likely to appear in the highest traffic areas, pilling can appear anywhere on your furniture.
When choosing your furniture, it is often difficult to predict which types of textiles are most likely to pill. A good rule of thumb is that textiles made of long fibers like silk and linen are less likely to pill than fabrics like wool, cotton, polyester and synthetic fabrics. When fibers are blended together in a fabric like a cotton/polyester blend, one fiber is typically much stronger than its counterpart. The weaker fiber will break, knot itself to the stronger fiber, and that is how a pill is formed.
At Tyndall Furniture & Mattress, we offer thousands of different fabrics and textiles from our vendors. When choosing a fabric for your custom upholstered piece, we encourage you to consider if the fabric will be prone to pilling based on your intended use of the furniture. Pilling can cause your furniture to look worn and tired as if it needs to be replaced. We assure you that a replacement is not necessary. Though pilling is certainly not a desirable accent, it is fortunately extremely easy to eliminate. Most furniture vendors and extended warranty plans do not offer coverage on pilling, simply because there is a simple and inexpensive solution to eliminate those frustrating little fuzzes.
How do I remove pills from my upholstered furniture?
To begin, you will need to purchase an electronic fabric defuzzer/shaver. We are partial to this model made by Conair®. Many people call these devices ‘sweater shavers’ since they are often used to remove pills from clothing made from delicate fabrics that are prone to break easily, like wool sweaters.
The actual process to remove the pills and fuzz from your furniture it quite simple. First, adjust the height of the blade according to the textile type and the height of the pills. Next, turn on your electric defuzzer and press it gently to the fabric, moving it in a circular motion to allow the circles to extend over the pilling. For the best results, be sure that the fabric is pulled taught in the area that you are shaving.
Many people find the process of removing pills on fabric with a sweater shaver to be extremely satisfying. It’s a quick procedure that has instant results. You will be pleased that after a couple quick passes with a shaver, your upholstered fabric will look as great as it did when it was brand new!
Additional Resources about Pilling from Industry Experts:
- Tutorial from Apartment Therapy: Shave It & Save It: How To Give Your Upholstered Furniture a Second Life
- Video by Lifestyle Blogger, Amber Oliver: How To Remove Pilling From Upholstery
- Blog Post by Awfully Big Adventure: You Can Go Shave Your Couch Now: How To Remove Pilling From Upholstery