How to Restore Faux Sherpa Fleece
The thing about liking nice things and not being able to afford to replace said nice things is you gotta learn how to take care of your things. I’ve been taking care of my clothes since I started buying my own clothes (when I was like, 14?). There’s a reason my shoes, bags, and clothes look like new for years.
Aside: I used to loovveee cashmere. I’ve sinced learned that cheap cashmere is a waste of time and money. It’s cheap because the fibres are shorter, therefore will pill more easily, and will mat. Higher quality cashmere won’t mat, and will resist pilling for longer, because the fibres are longer and woven further into the garment. Investing in some good textile shampoo (I like the ones from the Laundress) is worth it. Conventional detergents are too harsh. Unless you’re cleaning oil spills from your nice clothes, something a little more gentle is always a good idea. The more you know :p
More recently the most difficult natural fibre to maintain has been the fluff off bloo’s back. That’s worth a whole ‘nother post. People always remark at how soft she is and I’m thinking, “yes, that would be her fine, fine, hair that damages by the gentlest breeze of hot wind.” 😑
For Christmas this year, I got the robe of my dreams. I didn’t know it existed, but my bestie found it for me! I swear it is not possible to have a more perfect robe.
It’s so warm, I’ve abandoned working from the nest of a heated blanket. I don’t even wear my Canada Goose out in subzero temperatures to quickly take the dog out. Down to my ankles and fluffy as hell. It’s the dreamiest.
Except I wear this dang thing so much that it needs to be washed because spills happen. Chocolate happens.
After a couple of washes I noticed that the faux sherpa fleece was matting and exposing the fabric underneath. My robe! It’s too young to start balding! And so with some experimentation I have found the perfect method to refluff my beloved robe.
Tools of the trade:
We have from left to right: A Tangle Teezer, a slicker brush, and clothes brush.
The one that worked best was the Tangle Teezer, which is great news for you because it’s also the cheapest of my brushes. The slicker brush was recommended from a Google search, but the fleece was too delicate for it. It might be better for reviving a more conventional fleece. The clothes brush was good, but I found the bristles drew out mini fibres that are going to mat together very easily. Furthermore, upon inspection, this faux sherpa trim is actually looped onto the backing fabric, so any dragging motion will slowly destroy it. Additionally, I’m very wary of using such a harsh brush because a lot of the matting comes from little surface fibres snagging together, and any broken fibres will just exacerbate the matting.
I washed the robe in cold water, on the delicate cycle of my HE front loading washer. I used Method’s 8x concentrated detergent in lavendar and cedar.
As soon as I took it out from the washer, I took a Tangle Teezer to the fleece. When fibres are wet they tend to be more elastic, so will be more pliant to fluffing. Using gentle circular motions with the tip of the Tangle Teezer, I loosened up the fibres. I started by pressing harder to get the “deeper” spots, and gently relieved pressure as I moved away from the fabric backing, as if drawing the fibres outward. Sometimes shaking the brush side to side in a spot is great for loosening up larger clumps.
To get the fleece really fluffy, lift and move the brush over only a 1/4″ each time. Because the size of the matted clumps are only about 1/2″ wide, you want to be able to get into each clump a couple times.
Before and after cuff comparison:
Online picture of the original cuff:
Not bad hey?
This technique is best for a puffy-cloud like faux sherpa. That looks like this:
I have other restoration guides for:
- High Pile Faux Fur
- Normal Faux Fur