How to prevent damage to your favorite garments

Treat your jumper right, and prevent one of the peskiest fashion problems that comes with the cool weather.

Why is it that after a few months’ wear, your favourite jumper has those pesky pills under the arms and along the sides? Pilling occurs when fibres break down, separate, and then clump together in little balls. Pilling can occur on wool, cotton, cashmere, even polyester garments, usually at a point where two fabrics rub together.

Wash like a pro. To prevent pilling, turn a jumper inside out before washing. Then wash on the gentle cycle or by hand using Ariel Automatic Power Gel Original detergent. Air drying a jumper by laying it flat is best. Here’s how to make sure your jumper doesn’t stretch. After washing, lay the wet jumper on a flat towel and roll up the towel and jumper from the edge closest to you. This squeezes out the excess water. Unroll the towel, lift the jumper off, and lay it flat on a dry towel. Be sure to carefully bring the jumper to its original shape.

Depill the right way. If you already have pills on a jumper, you’ll have to be patient and remove them one at a time. Place the garment on a flat surface and then use either a small pair of scissors or a razor blade to carefully remove the pills. If you’re worried about damaging the jumper, you can be resourceful and use something that will lift the pills off the garment, such as a fine-tooth comb, pumice stone, or even a fruit zester. There are also special gadgets that are designed to remove pills with no threat of harming the garment’s fibres. Consider buying a jumper comb or a battery-operated electric fabric shaver, a hand-held device that generally sells at an affordable price. It will come in handy, not just for jumpers, but also for pills that build up on wool blankets and throws, towels, furniture, even the dog’s bed. It can also safely remove pet hair, loose threads, and lint, keeping fabrics and garments looking like new.