December 15, 2014
I purchased a new sweater stone through the mail and it arrived today. I showed it to my wife and she said, “What’s a sweater stone?” I figured there must be more out there who have never heard of the thing before, so here is a short guide.
A sweater stone is a small square tool used to nip off the pills that gather on garments–notably, you guessed it, sweaters.
Traditionally, sweater stones were made from pumice. Nowadays, they are made from a hard brick foam. They work by snagging pills in the bubbles of the foam, and slicing them off.
Pills form on all sorts of garments, not just sweaters, due to wear or excess washing and dry cleaning. Here is my cherished pea coat with a bunch of pills on it.
They can really make a garment look old and ratty. Removing them is a quick and easy way to make your garment look brand new again.
Now, some prefer to use electric garment shavers. I dislike them because they are noisy, and because you have to replace the batteries. Also, I have found that the blades in electric garment shaves get dull over time. With a sweater stone, I am in full control over how it works. I can do fine edgework, like on the hem of a garment, that would be hard to do with an electric garment shaver. Here is a short video of me unboxing the sweater stone and showing how it works.
To use a sweater stone, hold the edge of your garment and scrub away from your hand with the long side of the sweater stone, when removing the pills from large pieces of cloth. When doing hems and small areas, use the short edge of the sweater stone.
Now, one drawback to using sweater stones is that they crumble slightly while using them. Also, the stone leaves behind big piles of pills and fuzz, which electric fabric shavers suck up. Overcome this by simply using some lint rollers as you finish each section. Lint rollers will sweep up pills and crumbled sweater stone. Be sure to buy a new lint roller when starting on your garment. You’ll likely use the whole thing! These are all the sticky pages I used while removing pills from my pea coat.
After one session, the edges of my stone were noticeably worn.
It should still last you a good long while. Plus, they are super cheap. Get yours here:
If you prefer an electric fabric shaver, you can get one here: