With Summer here, it is time to put away our winter woolen clothing. However I need to put them into storage properly so that when I take them out next Fall, I won’t find damage from clothing moths. This article will tell you how to store wool clothing & naturally repel the dreaded clothing moths.
We have a sizable amount of wool and organic fiber sweaters and clothing items. We prefer natural fibers over synthetics whenever possible. Many of these items were hand knit by me and therefore have an even higher value considering the high quality yarn and materials used and the artistry, original designs and time it took to produce them. I want to make certain that they will be protected and ready to wear next season.
First some facts:
- Clothing moths are know as the Cloth Webbing Moth and they lay their eggs on fabrics that will make suitable food for their developing young.
- The lava of these moths have the ability to digest keratin which is a protein that can be found in natural fibers such as wool, alpaca, cashmere and mohair. They also like human hair and animal fur from dogs, cats, rabbits, fox and mink.
- The lava of clothing moths, prefer to dine and live in secluded, dark places like inside drawers, closets and folded clothing. They also like to live in cracks between carpeting and the walls – regular vacuuming is important. Vacuum this space and your upholstered furniture too. I was surprised to discover that the larva like those places between cushions and under large sofas and chairs that are infrequently moved. Even though your furniture may be covered in non-woolen fabric, the larva will munch on pet fur and human hair too.
- Use citrus peels, cloves, lavender blossoms and stems, rosemary leaves and cedar wood chips or shavings as insect repellants. Click here for instructions to make linen clothing moth repellent sachets.
- When gathering items to be stored to protect them from insect damage, sweaters obviously come to mind but don’t forget these items too: hats, gloves, scarves, coats, shawls, socks, long underwear, suits, jackets, slacks, dresses and skirts.
- Store clothing items in sealed containers, bags or chests that contain the insect repellents.
How to Store and Protect Your Wool Clothing from Clothing Moths
Here are the steps that I take to protect these precious woolen items with non-chemical means.
- Have clean and dry storage containers with tight fitting lids and/or zippered plastic garment bags available for storing your off season wool clothing. Space bags are convenient but are not a good choice for natural fibers like wool and alpaca.
- Hand wash and air dry all items that you intend to store. The clothing moths are also attracted to the residue of body oils, food, cosmetics, and creams and lotions. To learn how to wash wool items and how you can protect them by adding a natural insect repellent to the rinse water follow this link, repel clothing moths.
- Make enough herbal insect repellent sachets so that you have 3 or 4 for each storage container or garment bag.
- Neatly fold sweaters (never hang them from hangers,) scarves, hats or other small items and place them into storage boxes. Hang suit jackets, trousers, slacks, skirts, dress and coats in large garment bags.
- Tuck herbal insect repellent sachets among the folded clothing or place two in bottom of garment bag and two near the top of a hanger.
- Close the storage containers and bags and store in a cool dry place.
If you don’t have enough sachets you can use less. However I suggest that you lightly mist your clothing with a solution that contains 2 ounces of purified water and 20 drops of lavender essential oil and 1/2 teaspoon of vodka. Place these items in a spray bottle and shake well as you are lightly misting the clothing. Quickly fold the items and store as above with at least 2 insect repellent sachets.
I hope this article about how to store your wool clothing to protect it from clothing moths is helpful. By putting your off-season wool clothing away in this manner it will be clean, protected and ready to wear again when the season changes.