Many store wool clothes in the warmer months. When retrieving these woolen garments in the winter, some are shocked to find their clothes damaged by moth larvae, who thrive on improperly-stored fabrics. Woolen clothes – particularly those of the merino or cashmere variety – tend to be expensive. If your woolens have moth holes smaller than the width of a pencil eraser, you can repair them yourself with a needle and thread. Larger holes should be taken to a tailor to be rewoven.
Choose a thread that blends in with the material in your wool garment. If your clothing came with extra thread, use that, or take a bit of thread from inside a pocket or another inconspicuous area. If you need to buy new thread, select a dull thread that appears slightly darker than your garment, since thread looks darker than its true color when wrapped around a spool.
Thread a fine needle with a short length of thread.
Turn your garment inside out to conceal your needlework. Draw your mending thread through the existing yarns in the wool (through the intact loops, if possible). Use a knit or blanket stitch. Don't pull your stitches too tight, as this will cause the thread to pucker.
When you are finished sewing, tie the mending thread on the inside of your fabric to secure the ends.
Wash or dry-clean wool before storing it.
Store fabric in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed garment bags to prevent moth infestations.
Before repairing wool, wash all of the affected fabric, as well as other clothing stored in the same location, in a hot-water wash cycle. If the wool can’t be washed in hot water, have it dry cleaned. Hot water and dry cleaning will eliminate moth eggs, larvae and mature moths.
Vacuum the area where the clothing was stored to get rid of remaining moths, larvae and eggs. Vacuum the entire area: the ceiling, floor and shelves, or the entire drawer.
Christina Sloane has been writing since 1992. Her work has appeared in several national literary magazines.