You know the feeling, you pull out one of your favourite cashmere jumpers, and low and behold, there is a hole in it. It happened to me over the weekend and I have since been on a mission to get the culprits out of my wardrobe. Why is it that moths pick your favourite jumper and the hole is always in an obvious spot?
After doing a bit of research, it seems that it is not in fact the adult moth that causes the damage – it is their larvae. Apparently these little caterpillars can spend their 10 day life cycle destroying our favourite winter woolies, urghh.
So how can we prevent damage to our clothes?
Clean everything – according to Cheryl Ann Farr, Professor of textiles and clothing at Oklahoma State University, dirty clothes are often what attract moths in the first place.
Hot washes or dry cleaning will kill moth eggs, larvae and adult moths. I will now always be washing my jumpers before putting them away, but am somewhat reluctant with the hot wash – I’m hoping that cold water and a gentle detergent will do the trick.
On that note, if you buy vintage, wash it before you store it. You could be bringing an unwelcome visitor to your apparel!
Vacuum your wardrobe to remove any moth eggs or larvae – not a pleasant thought, but definitely worth doing every once in a while.
Storing your cashmere (or anything made of wool and natural fibres) in plastic clothing bags. As long as there is nothing on your clothes when you seal the bags, the moths won’t get in. I use these from Pure Collection:
Cedar balls are also widely available, I throw some into my sweater bags or drawers. However, according to the experts, cedar fumes are only toxic to moths if they are in very high concentrations. This means that we have to use a lot of cedar and replace it regularly to be effective.
Another great product is Natural Anti-moth Linen Spray – Vetivert Blend from Total Wardrobe Care. Spray it in drawers and wardrobes to help keep moths at bay.
Freezing clothing! Yes, putting your favourite cashmere scarf in the freezer for at least 12 hours will kill off any unwanted pests. I may put mine in a ziplock bag first…
Lavender sachets, moth traps, clothing sprays – there are so many on the market. Which do you think works best? Help me out, I am on a mission and will try anything – except maybe mothballs – despite my recent cashmere trauma, those lingering toxic fumes still hold little appeal.
*Post by Chloe Brasier, Sant Elia stylist and image consultant