The Yarnologue

Review: Lilly Brush

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the nice lady who created the Lilly Brush and offered one to review.

"Save our sweaters!"

“Save our sweaters!”

The purpose of the Lilly Brush is to remove pills and fuzz from fabrics made of natural fibers, such as wool, cotton, cashmere, and alpaca.

Do those fibers sound familiar? Of course they do, they are used in some of your favorite yarns.

Now, as knitters and crocheters we’ve all realized the despair of having a garment we made develop those annoying little balls of fuzz that make a perfectly good item look ratty.

According to “The Knitter’s Book of Yarn” by Clara Parkes:

Pills are caused by the tiny ends of fiber that don’t get completely tucked in during the spinning. With normal friction, these tiny ends begin to work their way loose from the fabric.

The more ends you have, the more likely you are to get pills.

Unfortunately, some of the softest, most delicious yarns to knit –merino, cashmere, and angora–have short fibers. In our quest to use soft yarns that feel so good to work with and wear, we’re stuck having to choose between knitting and crocheting with soft yarn and dealing with pills, or eschewing them in a vain attempt to be pill free.

Personally, I choose the soft yarns!

While picking pills off your sleeve is a great way to pass the time during a boring conference call, it’s not very effective. A more efficient method is needed for our busy lives.

When the opportunity for a new pill buster was presented I said, “Send one on over!”

I was told the Lilly Brush was compact enough to keep in my purse or knitting bag, which made me wonder whether it would be too small to use comfortably.

Watch out pills, I'm coming for you!

Watch out pills, I’m coming for you!

I’m happy to report it’s both a good size to hold and also carry in your project bag. It’s not very heavy, either.

Of course, it can be as cute as it wants, but that won’t matter if it doesn’t remove pills!

Take THAT pills!

At the risk of sounding disingenuous, I had a little trouble finding a pilly project to test it on. I guess I take good care of my knitwear!

Then I remembered the hot water bottle cover I knit using Debbie Bliss Andes yarn, a delicious alpaca & silk blend. (Because my toes deserve the very best!)

(By the way, Andes is being discontinued. If you like it you should snap it up if you see it at a local yarn store.)

Keeping feet warm is a rough job.

Keeping feet warm is a rough job.

I knit the hot water bottle cover in 2011. Then promptly exiled it to the foot of our bed, where it was destined to be kicked around between sheets. Especially flannel sheets in the winter.

If that isn’t a recipe for pills I don’t know what is!

It's beautiful!

It’s beautiful!

A few quick passes with the Lilly Brush and the cover was as good as new.

I mean, I knew it was looking beat up, but I didn’t realize how bad it had become until I cleaned it up.

Look at all that fluff!

Look at all that fluff!

Dog fur be gone!

After seeing how well it worked on the hot water bottle cover I started roaming around the house looking for other things to test it on.

The website says it’s good for removing pet hair as well, like a regular lint brush.

Well, I have two golden retrievers. They are 80 pound lap dogs. When I sit on the couch to knit, they sit on me.

That means my blankets take a bit of a hit.

Dogs and fleece are a bad mix.

Dogs and fleece are a bad mix.

Even after a trip through the washer and dryer this fleece blanket still tends to be furry. I should probably just give it up and sacrifice it to the dogs, but it’s one of my favorites.

It's a dramatic improvement in person.

It’s a dramatic improvement in person.

The Lilly Brush might be a solution! Perhaps the pictures don’t look like much, but trust me it was a pretty dramatic difference in person. I’m going to try washing it to remove the loose fur and then give it a whack with the brush to see what happens.


You’re now thinking of the hand knit and crocheted sweaters you’ve sadly exiled to the bottom of the pile because of pills. You’re thinking you want to try out the Lilly Brush for yourself.

Lilly Brush has been making contacts will local yarns stores so you might see them there soon. Or you can buy one off the Lilly Brush website.

Or, if you have a Facebook account and you’re a US resident, you can try your hand at the instant win game that is running until May 15, 2013.

They’re giving away 100 brushes!

Click this link to access the contest. It will take you to Facebook. You’ll have to be logged in and you’ll have to “like” the Lilly Brush page. Then enter your email address and click the green “try to win” button.

Good luck!


  1. I would so love to try out this brush. I’ve read about it before and it got rave reviews. I hope I win!

  2. I would love this, beats using tape I’m sure

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