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 Tool Talk
 The Lilly Brush
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queen bee

4414 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2013 :  6:27:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit Clara's Homepage Send Clara a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The marketing materials claim this is "the best natural fabric pill remover you'll ever use." Needless to say, I was intent on proving them wrong.

Here's the review!

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New Pal

19 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2013 :  12:38:08 AM  Show Profile Send shellyg a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tell us how it compares to a fabric shaver, the pros & cons of each. Thanks.
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Permanent Resident

2266 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2013 :  05:53:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit marfa's Homepage Send marfa a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How do.

This interests me for socks too - pills always appear on them!

Thanks much, Clara.

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5199 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2013 :  05:59:29 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lanea's Homepage Send Lanea a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That looks like it would be particularly useful for travel or to keep at work. I have a big honking electric sweater shaver at home, but sometimes I don't notice pills on a sweater until I'm at work. I keep a lint brush there--I could see keeping one of these at my desk too.

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1421 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2013 :  09:27:09 AM  Show Profile Send robinstephanie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Clara!

I have never found a fabric shaver that works to my satisfaction. Either they need honkin' batteries that run out after five minutes, or the blades dull and they no longer slice the pills off. I've tried three or four and years ago decided to stop trying and pick the pills off myself.

This thing is intriguing. If anybody goes for it, post about it, woodja?! It's hard to get past my prejudices, but if I suddenly leap and try this thing, I'll post my experience.


Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
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New Pal

27 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2013 :  10:23:58 AM  Show Profile Send needler a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have read over the years that pill removal actually weakens the fabric. The removers that "slice off" the pills are creating potential loose ends which could result in more pilling or worse: holes. This tool sounds gentle enough that it would be safe, though. Thoughts?
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2424 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2013 :  12:19:25 PM  Show Profile Send azblueskies a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have a Lily Brush. Only thing I've tried it on so far was a cotton/linen blend and it worked great. The brush is very narrow/small so it takes some work. I have a sweater "stone" too but it stinks and there's lots of debris to clean up afterwards. Knit and Tonic reviewed the Lily (I know it has two Ls but I have a granddaughter Lily so that's the way I spell it) Brush, too...see her May 6th entry.

Reminder to myself: PROVISIONAL cast on for EVERYTHING except toe-up socks.
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4160 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2013 :  09:52:43 AM  Show Profile Send dschmidt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like my Lilly brush very much too. I used it on 100% wool and found that a slight wrist twist makes it work a little faster.

Donna in VA

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New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2013 :  5:01:47 PM  Show Profile Send Degb a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Have you tried the Gleener? ( I got one more than a year ago based on a recommendation from a friend. It removes pills from all fabrics (even synthetics) and doesn't tear like a sweater stone. It has 3 heads. I use the coarsest one for my hand-knit sweaters and it works great. The Gleener even has a lint brush type of thing on the other end that allows you to sweep up loose fibers which make future pills less likely.
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2761 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2013 :  5:40:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit purlthis's Homepage Send purlthis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Am I the only one who uses an old shaving razor?

As I get older, I prefer to knit. Tracey Ullman UPDATED! WITH PICS!
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New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2013 :  11:12:59 AM  Show Profile  Visit JudiP53's Homepage Send JudiP53 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Clara, for the review. I was particularly intrigued with your comments on yarns with synthetic content. I knitted a cardigan I love out of Miss Babs Yummy Superwash, which is supposed to be 100% merino, but the pills are impossible to remove. Makes me wonder if they had a mixup with their bases.

I generally have good luck removing pills with a brush that I received years ago with an Icelandic sweater. I think it is similar to the Lilly brush, but simpler. Just two rows of short/medium length plastic bristles in a strip of plastic. Works great on most things (especially Lopi but all it does to my cardi is fluff up the overall surface, while the pills remain all over and stubbornly intact. It's looking so ragged that I'm going to have to stop wearing it! I once tried a shaver, but the surface is heavily textured and that didn't go well. Maybe I should try steaming it to flatten the surface and then try shavig again.

Thanks for listening! I have been learning from your reviews and books and articles for years. Have not been active in the forum before now, though. Thanks for all you do.
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1929 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2014 :  8:58:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I bought a Lilly brush yesterday from my LYS and just tried it out tonight on my favorite wool vest, which now looks like new. In addition to removing pills, it coaxed out a few loose fibers that the brush couldn't quite remove, but that I could take off easily with my fingers. I'm really happy with how my vest looks.

There was an article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday about restoring piled sweaters, and the Lilly brush wasn't mentioned as one of the tools. How did they miss that??

(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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