A few years ago, I picked up a few honeycomb sweaters from J.Crew. Then I proceeded to shrink them. All was fine and dandy until a few more washings later when these crazy things began to shed…bad. I blame that stupid angora. Pulling these things over my head begins a day long battle of wiping little fuzzies off my face, out of my eyes, and out of my mouth; not to mention what they do to anything worn layered over or underneath.
I tried a sweater shaver, which did nothing. I tried freezing them, which did nothing. So they’ve sat in my closet in the hopes that one day I’d be able to get that fuzz under control enough to wear them again. Pulling them out of a box while unpacking got me thinking again about how to tackle the problem. Enter my latest Amazon purchase…a sweater comb and a sweater stone.
I set up a little experiment. I started with a clean, freshly lint-rolled black shirt. Pulled on one very fuzzy white sweater, as you would in a normal outfit pairing, and then removed. The resulting fuzzy mess is my control: the amount of fuzz deposited by the sweater before a de-fuzzing method.
I then turned the sweater inside out, and de-fuzzed it with either the sweater comb or sweater stone. The idea is I’d put it back on the freshly lint-rolled black shirt when I was done, and see if it made any difference, while playing with both methods to see which one I thought worked better. Ready? Here we go…
A sweater stone is basically a chunk of porous pumice stone (volcanic rock) that catches and pulls loose fibers from your knits. It’s chunky and a bit unwieldy, so I wouldn’t recommend it for very delicate or very loose knits. However, it’s these very properties that made it good for this heavy duty job I had in mind.
How to use
I found the sweater stone effective with quick, short, downward strokes, while holding the sweater taught with my other hand. Little balls of fuzz will quickly gather on the stone, which are easy to remove.
- The large size makes a quicker job of de-fuzzing a knit.
- The porous nature of the stone does a good job catching loose hairs and fuzz.
- Messy! Dust from the stone sheds as it’s stroked across a knit, leaving a bunch of tiny black sand-like particles behind.
- Feels a little heavy duty. I’d be super careful using this on loose or delicate knits.
A sweater comb is a comb of wire mesh that is roughly textured in order to catch loose fibers from knits. The scratchy surface area is smaller than that of the sweater stone, so will take a bit longer to de-fuzz an entire knit. Handling the sweater comb felt more precise, so I’d prefer this when dealing with more delicate knits.
How to Use
Just like with the sweater stone, I found the sweater comb effective with quick, short, downward strokes, while holding the sweater taught with my other hand. Little balls of fuzz will clog up the wire mesh, and needs to be cleaned often.
- The small size makes a more careful and precise job of de-fuzzing a knit.
- The wire mesh does a good job catching loose hairs and fuzz.
- The small de-fuzzing surface area gets clogged quickly, so it takes longer to cover an entire knit due to having to clean it so often.
I found myself preferring the sweater stone for this particular job just due to it’s sheer size. The larger surface area made a quicker job of getting through the entire sweater. What I finally ended up doing was going over an area with the sweater stone first, and then going over the same area quickly again with the sweater comb. As for which I prefer…I’d say it depends on the job. Heavy duty de-fuzzing jobs on tight, heavy knits may be better with the sweater stone (as long you don’t mind the messy sandy bits it leaves behind). Lighter jobs and delicate knits are probably best off with the sweater comb.
As for the sweater…no amount of de-fuzzing with either tool ever felt like the job was done. Each stroke came up with more and more fuzz, and I felt I could hack away at this thing all day and still come up with fuzz until the thing went bald. I was also left with a fuzz-ball large enough to knit a sweater for Clinton. As you can see below, the after is a little better, but still pretty damn fuzzy. Maybe a few more rounds with the sweater stone will do the trick? That’ll have to wait for another day.
Do any of you have knit de-fuzzing tips? Do you prefer the sweater comb or sweater stone? How about a sweater shaver (not my personal favorite)?