Shave It & Save It: How To Give Your Upholstered Furniture a Second Life

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Pilling on fabric is no good. It makes clothing and furniture look worn and tired, like it needs to be replaced. I certainly felt that way about this yellow chair before the most epic fabric de-fuzzer showed up on my doorstep. Friends, here me when I say this: This is the most satisfying $12.99 you’ll ever spend on a home-care appliance.

I knew this type of tool existed, but I didn’t know how amazing the results would be when used on upholstery fabric. I tried out two shavers: the Conair Fabric Defuzzer and the Gleener Ultimate Fuzz Remover. The Conair truly smoked the competition. (The Gleener is a great tool for more delicate fabrics, but requires much more time and effort to completely rid the fabric of all the pilling, compared to the fabric shaver.)

So before you consider replacing your furniture or dropping hundreds on reupholstering it, try this trick first.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

What You Need



Before: This chair isn’t actually that old (1 year to be exact) but it gets quite a bit of use and has developed pilling everywhere. It was so bad, in fact, that I was considering getting rid of it.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

The actual de-fuzzing process is simple. First, choose the setting of the blade height (much like you do on your lawnmower) according to your fabric type and pilling. Then, turn the de-fuzzer on and lightly press it to the fabric, working it around in circles to extend over the pilling.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Be sure the fabric is pulled taut in the area you’re working on. Stay away from hard edges, or tucking, as it’s easy to cut through the fabric when you’re not working on a flat surface.

The photo below shows the middle section of the design in the fabric after one swipe through with the de-fuzzer on the medium setting.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

The “after” photo was taken after running the de-fuzzer along the arm of the chair for about 5 minutes. I was completely blown away at how easy the tool was to use, and at how the fabric looked exactly as it had when it was first purchased.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

I was a little worried that the shaver might slice through the fabric, but upon close inspection, everything looked great!

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Want your own? Conair Fabric Defuzzer, $12.99