It’s Spring! And while I’m a huge fan of wearing and making woolly garments and accessories, I’m also very happy to be able to put them all away, when the weather turns warm.
I don’t just stuff them in the back of the closet—that’s asking for trouble. Animal-fibre items—ones made from wool, silk, alpaca, mohair, etc.—all need a wash before they are stored.
The danger to items in storage comes from moths, carpet beetles and other nasty insects that enjoy laying their eggs in animal fibres. When the eggs hatch, the babies nourish themselves at the cost of your clothes.
There are two important things to know about these monsters. They prefer to live in dark, quiet, dusty corners, undisturbed by movement or light, which is exactly the description of the cupboard where I stuff my sweaters in the spring. And they’re most attracted to fabrics that are “dirty”—items that carry dirt, food particles, discarded hair and skin cells, and oils from your hair and skin. (Ick.) Putting a sweater you’ve been wearing in the back of your closet, even if it’s not visibly stained or dirty, is basically sending out an invitation to have it eaten.
So before you put things away, give them a wash.
All images by Kate Atherley.