Alcantara can be difficult to maintain. Over time the fabric will start to show pilling, which are very small blobs of the fabric being rolled up. These are the result from rubbing over the fabric with your clothes. These are not difficult to remove if you know how.
Pilling and de-pilling alcantara
Pilling is a common sight on certain types of fabric. Cotton, wool and even types of suede can show pilling over time. It is caused by an object rubbing over the fabric. While rubbing, small strings of the fabric get tangled up with each other. Eventually these small tangled up strings become a little bit larger and form small blobs. Alcantara is slightly different, seeing as the “string” are not present in the same form. But the surface of alcantara is not smooth or fixed. This causes uneven streaks of alcantara build-up to start showing. These can be removed one-by-one, but that would be very time consuming.
Tools to de-pil alcantara
There are a few different ways to remove pilling on alcantara.
Electric lint remover
These small devices can be compared with an electric shaver. The blades are bit stronger and they are designed for slightly more rough surfaces. These can also be used for carpets and general fabrics, so they would make a versatile tool to own. The results from this are not always as perfect because of the thick fibers in alcantara.
A very cheap and easy solution. The razors can either be A-brand razors, or disposable razors. The last one will wear much more and quicker, but will be cheaper to buy. Simply rub the surface in a similar fashion as when you are shaving your body. Be careful around sharp edges and never move to quickly. If something would go wrong, you will cut into the alcantara, making it a difficult and costly repair.
One of the safest methods, but perhaps also the most messy one, would be to use sandpapers. 800 grit sandpaper is perfect for very rough surfaces, whereas 1200 grit will easily get rid of light pilling. After using the sandpaper, you will most likely need to vacuum the surrounding area well.
Electric bobble remover
There are a few specialized devices on the market, strictly designed to remove these types of pilling. These often resemble electric shavers, but with a different mechanism inside. They can be very expensive but are also safer to use and give a good result.
If the pilling is fairly light, a magic sponge can be enough. The fairly rough surface of the melanine sponge can pull the fibers loose from the surface, making it easy enough to vacuum it up. Simply rubbing it with the magic sponge will help to get rid of a large part of the pilling. This might not work as effective when there is a large amount of pilling. Magic sponges can fall apart while using, so it will probably require some cleaning afterwards.