Felting - pill removal question

I just made my first felted bag this summer; while I love the color and feel, I’m wondering what I can do about the “pilling” all over it. Should I use a razor? How about one of those sweater de-pillers?

How can I end up with a nice smooth surface on the bag? The yarns I used were all nice and smooth, so obviously the pilling is an artifact of the felting process.

I’m also thinking I’m going to run it through the wash a few more times, so if there’s a step I can do during the re-felting that will help with this, I’d love to hear about it!


I don’t think you can do anything to prevent the pilling, you can shave it off. I’ve read that people use good old disposable razors and they work fine.

But maybe there’s something else, too - I’m willing to hear any and all suggestions.

Thanks, Ingrid! Love your photo, too.


I have read that pilling is caused as the shorter fibers in the yarn work their way out of the knitted fabric. Once they’re all out, the pilling is supposed to stop. I don’t know if it’s true, but it seems to makes sense.

I have a few bags made from Noro Kureyon, and a more-pilly yarn I’ve yet to use!

However, I can report that the pilling definitely lessens over time. A good aggressive shave up front makes a big difference. I just use a standard safety razor from the drugstore.

Diane in Chicago
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I use one of those battery operated de-pillers, got it at Joann’s for $4.99. It’s quick and easy and virtually error proof. I think it works really well and is easy to do a quick touch up with. Me with a disposable razor is a scary thought!