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I've had this fantastic little gadget for a couple of years now. I bought it from Lakeland for around £6, despite some bad reviews on their website! I decided to pay attention to the good reviews! I also decided that £6 was worth the risk if there was a chance it would breathe new life into some of my shabby looking, but no very old woollies.
The Bobble Buster is a simple little gadget that fits nicely into the palm of your hand. It requires 2 AA batteries. The blades are hidden behind a metal guaze, which protects your clothes from being damaged. All the 'fluff' that is removed from your clothes is collected in the dark blue compartment at the bottom of the Buster. This just slides off when it needs emptying.
To use the Bobble Buster I lay the item to be revived out flat on the kitchen table. I then carefully run the Bobble Buster over it. It can be quite time consuming if you have a very bobbly item and want to do a good job! But, even a quick going over can make an item look a million times better than it did covered in bobbles! And, when you have the time and patience to do it properly then you really can make items look like new again. My daughter recently received a hand me down cardigan from my niece which, although had obviously once been lovely, looked like it was destined to be a mucky gardening cardi. It took me about half an hour of serious Bobble Busting, but the cardigan now looks so new again she wears it for parties! I have a couple of cardigans from The White Stuff that I bobble bust on a regular basis, they literally go from looking old, loved and lived in, to looking brand new again.
Some of the reviewers on the Lakeland website claim that the Bobble Buster has ripped holes in their clothes. Much as I love my Bobble Buster and wouldn't be without it, this has happened to me also. But only when I have been rushing and not paying proper attention to the task in hand! I have been fortunate enough that the holes have not been in obvious places so I have been able to keep wearing the items. I now have two bobble busting rules:
1) Only ever bobble bust when you have time to bobble bust NEVER when you're in a rush
2) Ensure the item is totally flat on the table, raised bits are at risk to getting the chop!
Since abiding by these rules my clothes have remained in tact and bobble free!
To get maximum results it is important to check that the blue compartment of fluff is emptied regularly. Also, fluff sometimes collects around the centre of the blades so every now and then I screw off the metal gauze and remove the fluff from around the blades. You can usually tell when either of these tasks need doing as the Bobble Buster starts sounding tired, like the batteries need replacing!
I am very glad I bought the Bobble Buster, I have several items of clothing that would have been long gone if I hadn't! Just make sure you use it with care!
I have awarded 5 stars despite having suffered a few holes...I firmly accept that this was due to my bad handling, not the Bobble Busters bad design!
The Lakeland Bobble Buster.
The Lakeland Bobble Buster is a tool designed to remove fluff and bobbles from knitwear in order to prolong its life and appearance. At £5.39, plus the cost of 2 AA size batteries, this product is a relatively cheap method of rejuvenating ageing woollies.
Where To Purchase.
You can purchase this at www.lakelandlimited.com and if you do decide to remember to use a cash-back site first. In my experience at the moment the only one I have found offering this is at www.giveortake.com where you can obtain 4% cash-back. The only downside to on-line ordering is that they charge £4.25 for orders under £49.99, so unless you are buying several other items it works out too costly. I have a number of products I normally purchase from them such as their bread bags and Lavender Wool Wash so it isn't a problem for me, but we now have our own store in Chelmsford which has helped with this issue when I just want a small item in isolation.
Reason For Purchase.
The reason I purchased this product is that I have several jumpers in my wardrobe which are my old friends. I purchased them from Fat Face and White Stuff, my two favourite shops, and I love everything about them, except their bobbling, which would have been my main reason for departing company with them. I had tried last winter to find replacements, but none came close to these old favourites, which I was so reluctant to lose. Hence my "Bobble Buster"purchase, which was certainly promising to be a good buy if the on-line video on the Lakeland website was to be believed. Here a lovely lady demonstrates the joys of using this product as it brings new life to old garments!
Prior to this purchase I had been the proud owner of a Lakeland De-fuzzer -a hand held tool designed to perform the same function. It is acceptable, requires no batteries, and will remove a certain amount of bobbles, but I wanted something more substantial to take on this mighty task!
What is It?
The bobble buster is a small blue tool which is in essence a shaver. You simply use it in circular motions, and the foil works over the surface removing the fluff and old wool trapping it inside a compartment which is easy to empty.
So- To The Task- Can These Old Friends Be Saved?
So I decided to gather together my old woollies and to see how effective this was. The video shows it to be very quick, so I thought I would glide through this task returning my pilled knitwear to its former glory in minutes. Think again - predicted timescales were inaccurate! I assembled my old woolly on my ironing board and commenced working on the sleeve. I could see this was going to be quite a challenge as this jumper was bobbly all over. I was right - removal of all the bobbles was probably a 15 minute task on the back and front of the first sleeve - I could see I was certainly going to require endless patience to cope with this! What I concluded here is that if you have a few bobbles this tool is brilliant, but you are going to need a lot of patience to restore an old woolly to tip top condition!
The Good The Bad And The Ugly!
The buster is easy to use and easy to grip - so if you have arthritis you are going to find it really easy to use, which is a bonus. You don't need much pressure either as the tool does the work for you. On the down side I feel that they could have made the compartment for collecting the wool transparent, as you have to keep checking to see if it needs emptying.
The reviews on the Lakeland website are very mixed indeed, and one worrying aspect of the product is that some have reported that it has ruined their garments making holes in them. I have not had this experience myself, but it is worth being very careful when using it, not putting too much pressure on the garment, and exercising common sense about what fabrics you choose to treat. I feel the number of reviews mentioning damage certainly raise a caution in my mind about this product.
Keeping woollies going is of course great for the environment, as is of course sending them to charity. Even with the latter option I feel disinclined to donate bobbly woollies to charity, as there are few who find these attractive on rails in shops. For both options this tool is an affordable means of prolonging garment life, but what I feel it won't do is to turn an old jumper into a new one, even if like me you are prepared to spend a long time renovating it!
One positive point though is that Lakeland is a fantastic company, and they will always refund if you are not entirely happy. For this reason you have a good basis to risk purchasing, as long as you realise that you will not be able to turn back time completely for these old woollies! What I admire about Lakeland is that they publish customer reviews warts and all, ensuring that would be purchasers are presented with the facts. Of course you can purchase this product in anyone of their shops as well as online at www.lakelandlimited.com.
For me it has been a labour of love and my old friends are still with me waiting for the first snows of winter. I'm happy as I love these cosy companions, but accept that they are not what they once were. They are, however, respectable garments to be seen out and about in, and have lost that student look, so for me the tool has been a success.
This is brilliant! It's one of those things you're not sure till you try it!! I was a bit scepticle but saw it in the kleeneze catalogue for about £5 I was fed up with my cardigans going all bobbly as soon as I was them.
I always feel cardigans look old as soon as they go bobbly! some are worse than others.
So I tentatively had a go on an area that wouldn't matter if it all went wrong. What I've found is that it's best to do as much as possible while you're wearing the garment - obviously some of that is impossible like the back! The other way is to make sure the part you're doing is flat on something, if it crumples up you end up making a hole in your cardi which isn't the idea!!
I was amazed when I first did it my cardigans looked back to new, in fact I was so impressed I went and found as many articles of clothing which needed de-bobbling as I could - it's a bit addictive!!
As you gentle rub the metal bit over the clothes it sort of shaves the bits off and they go into the dark blue compartment at the front, it's not very big so you do have to empty it after every garment but that's not a problem, in there is all the fluff that's been collected. It's very safe, the blades are hidden behind the metal holey bit so if you got your fingers near it there wouldn't be a problem.
it takes two AA batteries, they hardly use any power so don't need changing very often at all in fact I don't think I've done mine in a year.
It's quite small so doesn't take up loads of space and it's a pretty clever little gadget.