Why Does My Yarn Get Fuzzy?

It is vexatious to have your yarn get fuzzy from the time spent knitting. This can, however, be natural or a fault of yours while you knit. When it comes to yarn fuzz, no fabric or item is exempted.

In this article, we’ll learn more about yarns, why they get fuzzy, and how to prevent them from occurring in your knitting process or finished project.

It’s pretty easy to work with a fuzzy yarn and get the best result provided you follow this article well.

Why Does My Yarn Get Fuzzy?

A fuzzy yarn is a soft, thin, and hairy yarn with many tiny loose hairs out of every strand of the yarn.

There are naturally made fuzzy yarns out there – they are not difficult to use (check online for more about that), but we’re discussing why your regular yarn gets fuzzy.

It isn’t very pleasant to have fuzz come out in your yarn while you work or in the finished project, but this doesn’t just happen by chance; there are a few reasons why your yarn gets fuzzy, and below is a detailed list of the reasons:

Yarn Type

The type of yarn fiber used in knitting matters as it either gets fuzz or not. Yarn fibers differ in how prone they are to getting fuzzy – some do, while some do not. There are three types of yarn fibers – natural, synthetic, and a blend of both fibres. Natural fibres are wool, silk, cotton, linen, mohair, angora, bamboo, and many others produced from plant and organic animal fibers. Synthetic fibers include acrylic, rayon, polyester, nylon, lycra, and many more. The blends combine fibers to give silk-mohair, wool-acrylic, silk-alpaca, cotton-polyester, and several other blends.

Each strand of the natural fiber is short and less robust, making it likely to break off before getting fuzzy, and makes it pretty easy to remove the fuzz balls, unlike the synthetic fiber prone to getting fuzzy because each strand is long and thick and they fuzz as they pull and stretch, they do not break off. However, Natural fibers are widely known to fuzz, but this, however, depends on the natural production of the fiber.


The Fabric

To make woven fabrics, the yarn must be looped to work with and the yarn must be entangled at the right angles. Some knits are loosely made, making them prone to friction and fuzz.



We all make mistakes while knitting, which is normal, but when you begin to worry about the mistakes made, the more we keep knitting to correct the errors, the yarn gets fuzzy quickly. When you constantly knit on the same row or round again each time there’s a mistake, the yarn is susceptible to pilling, leading to fuzz.


The Fabric Washing and Care

The washing, wearing, and how you care for your fabric matters, and with all these, the yarn fibers break off, making it get fuzzy. Knowing how you handle each fabric determines how lasting it becomes is essential. Not all fabrics are machine-washable (the label does the information better); when you machine wash or dry, abrasion causes the yarn to pill, leading to fuzz.


The Knit

Loosely knitted fabrics are prone to pilling more than tightly knitted fabrics, as the fibers need to be firmly knitted together.


How Do I Fix My Yarn Fuzz?

Yarn pilling is one thing that causes yarn fuzz. Pills are tangled fiber ends that appear on the fabric and form fuzz balls due to friction, and when pulled, it causes the fuzz balls to become hairy. To fix your yarn fuzz (defuzz), here are guides to help you:


  • Do not use hand

While trying to get rid of your yarn fuzz, it is better advised not to use your hand sparingly. There are various means to fix yarn fuzz, excluding the hand; they are:

  • Trimming with Scissors or razor

Use tiny thread scissors or a professional wool razor (not a disposable – as it is unreliable due to carelessness) to trim the strings of the fuzzball. This works well without interfering with the stitches or holes. Ensure you pull the fabric tightly and pinch the fiber closely to the knit. 

  • Pull off with Lint Tape or Roller

A lint tape roller is quick and easy to use by pressing the tape to stick to the fabric and pull off the fuzz balls.

  • Shave using a Fabric or Knit Shaver

A Fabric or Knit Shaver is a battery-operated machine that you can hold. It uses a tiny rotating blade with a built-in vacuum that traps and collects the cut fibers. It doesn’t require tension. Just run it in a spiral or clockwise motion over the yarn and let it get rid of the fuzz.

  • Scrap using a Sweater Comb

It is a small, pocket-size, metallic comb with a sharp edge. Allow it to come in contact with the fabric surface and scrap off the fuzz.

  • Stroke with a Sweater Stone

This helps to groom yarn fabrics naturally. Lightly hold an area and gently stroke the stone surface over the yarn to trap the pills, and here, you remove all the fuzz balls.


  • Hand-wash

Hand-wash the finished project in mild detergent and air-dry for about 10-20 minutes (depending on how damp it is but ensure to use a low-heat setting). Hand-washing aids in the complete removal or reduce the fuzz.


How Do I Prevent My Yarn From Getting Fuzzed?

There’s much to do with a fuzzed yarn, but you should be able to prevent your yarn from fuzzing. Here are a few things to do to prevent your yarn from fuzzing:


  • Do not overwork the yarn:

As you already learned, overworking the yarn induces tension and friction, making the yarn shed or pill, and this causes the yarn to fuzz.

  • Check the fabric label: 

The labels on fabrics or clothing materials are the manufacturer’s instructions on washing and drying. Following the manufacturers’ specific instructions is ideal and best to keep the fabric in good shape and avoid pilling that can lead to fuzzing. 

  • Separate fabrics: 

To reduce friction, ensure to wash clothes with similar fabrics together. Refrain from mixing and wash your yarn. Wash the delicate fabrics separately from the others.

  • Proper laundering:

A proper way of washing your yarn to prevent pilling, tearing, and fuzz is to use an enzyme-based detergent or fabric softener in a gentle wash cycle, do not use bleaches or other washing chemicals. This helps to make the fabric smooth and prevents the fibers from tangling. Turn fabrics or clothing materials on the wrong side before washing them. Also, if you’re ironing, the delicate ones should be pressed at a low temperature before you move on to the heavy fabrics.

  • Use a mesh laundry bag:

A mesh laundry bag protects the fibers and helps to prevent friction in delicate fibers such as wool, silk, and others.

  • Washing method:

The most reliable way of preventing your yarn from getting fuzzy is by the hand-washing method of laundering. It is time-consuming, but best to prevent the fuzz. 

Note: machine-washing method is suitable, but not just delicate fabrics are prone to damage. All fabrics are especially when washed by machine. If you’re going to use a machine, ensure to switch on the delicate and hand wash cycle buttons because high temperatures cause the fabric to shrink and pill, leading to fuzz.

  • Use an air-dry system:

Drying fabrics on lines of flat laying cause friction as the fabric tends to get stuck or scratched. It is better to use an air-dry setting to dry your yarn. Ensure the dryer is at a low heat temperature setting to limit the abrasion on the fabric.

  • Choose the best yarns:

Any yarn can fuzz, but there are several others that are quicker to fuzzing than the others (read more about yarn fibers and their fuzz abilities to understand).

  • Go for tightly woven fabrics: 

For the best work, go for fabrics with tightly knitted weaves. The loose weaves make the fabric more susceptible to pilling, leading to fuzz as the loose fibers move and rub against one another. A tight fabric=c weave is that with no see-through, just like Denim which likely never gets to fuzz.

  • Opt for fabrics with much higher threads

Fabrics with high thread counts are best and have high quality as they hardly pill because they do not have short threads that can come loose or entangle to form pills. 



Trust you’re going to avoid the problem and vexation of having to deal with yarn fuzz in your work or finished project. The above are well detailed for you to fix and prevent the situation.

All fabrics are prone to pilling, but you shouldn’t opt for those that pill the most. Also, ensure that you take adequate care of those yarns to aid lasting and use the perfect washer-dryer. 

Electric fuzz removers can be very high and tough on your fabric and likely to create holes in the fabric; it is best to stay away from them. 

Happy Knitting!