De-fluffing your MAK cardigans

Mumpty wearing the ever-popular MAK crop cardigan in mint via Pinup Girl Clothing.

Now most pinup-styled girls have at least one (if not MANY!) MAK cardigans from Pinup Girl Clothing.  After all, they come in a rainbow of colours; they’re cheap and they’re exactly the right cut for the pinup-style frocks we love so much.

However, as you will know if you’ve worn them for any length of time, you get what you pay for, and these cardigans do tend to “pill” and “fluff” quite quickly.  Pretty soon you’re left with a cardy that looks a bit “less new” than you’d like.

So when that happens, I reach for this little miracle machine, which I purchased from the $2 Shop for the princely sum of $8 including batteries.

Lint remover

This, my friends, is a lint remover.  Basically it is a little machine thing with blades inside the metal holey cover (technical term!) and a little “catcher” for all the fluff it removes.

How to …

Basically you just get your cardy on a smooth flat surface (I use the ironing board) and then GENTLY run over it – I find a circular motion works best) and watch it remove the “bobbly bits” like magic!  Unfortunately it’s not ACTUALLY magic, so it’s not going to take a worn, pilled MAK cardy and turn it into brand new again, but it will definitely “freshen it up” for you.

Lint remover

Here are some before and afters I took of my de-fluffing session with my  Fiesta Orange MAK cardy – this is my most recent one and I must admit, I’ve worn it quite a bit.  (And by the way – I know the colours look a bit different in this before and after, I swear to you it IS the same cardy!)

Before and after
Before (top) – you can see lots of pilling and rubbing. On the after (bottom) you can see that while it’s still there to some degree, it looks SO.MUCH.BETTER.

And here’s another …

Before and after2

To give you some idea of how much it removes, this is the “catcher” after my little de-fluffing session.


Hmmmm … quite a bit aye?!

Tips and tricks …

  1. Make SURE you have it on a flat surface; if there are ridges or folds you can be sure it will catch them and cut a wee hole in your cardy – take it from one who knows!
  2. Use a circular motion and don’t press down too hard – just do it really lightly and go over it twice if you need to.
  3. It is more effective on “pilling,” but it still helps with “fluffing.”
  4. Be very careful around seams and raw edges (i.e. the bottom) – don’t do circular motions on the bottom of the cardy or it will catch.  Just gently move it in a straight line down toward the bottom.
  5. It quite often stops – this seems to be normal.  Push the little “on button” again and off you go!
  6. It’s a weirdly relaxing and satisfying process!

And one last tip which I learned from the fabulous Flo Foxworthy, to “freshen” your cardy without washing it (because let’s face it – you don’t want to wash them TOO often or you’ll get pilling and fade!) … just spritz it with vodka.  Put vodka (any type will do) into a spray bottle and spritz the garment in the areas it’s likely to get sweaty (i.e. the underarms) – don’t soak it though.  Then just hang it up and leave it to dry.  The alcohol in the vodka kills the bacteria that can make them smell and doesn’t damage the fabric.  This is a really good tip for any of you burlesquers who may have delicate costumes with sequins and beading that you can’t just put through the washing machine.  Another hint: Flo says if you’re going to hand wash that kind of stuff; use a mild body wash rather than laundry detergent, as it foams less and it’s easier to rinse out.

So there you have it – Mumpty and Flo’s tips on how to de-fluff and de-smell your MAK cardigans!

Keepin’ it fresh …



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