Saturday, 18 April 2015


THE CLOTHES MOTHS ARE BACK WITH US earlier than ever after the mild winter and they are out looking for cosy, warm, woolly nesting places.  Yesterday, I found 5 just crawling out from under a blanket chest, all ready to mate and lay their tiny eggs all over the house as they did last year when the larvae nibbled small holes in quite a few places.  Go to the ironmongers/chemists now for the moth traps that work well for telling you they are seeking their mates and on the offensive!  My ironmonger has already almost run out of supplies OF SPRAYS AND CAMPHOR BALLS, and said he had big problems last year getting the right sprays etc after that pandemic!  I have found that the moths especially love anything with animal hair in the weave - cashmere, angora, alpacca and Persian rugs, as well as sheep's wool.   I just pray I have everything covered and safe.  My neighbour has already lost a favourite tapestry cushion to the little pests.


  1. Dear Elizabeth, Once you have the camphor balls and spays what do you use to wrap the fabrics in for further protection, or is enclosing a fabric not good. Also, if you have a newer item, do you wash it . I appreciate any advance that an experience textile conservator has to offer. Sincerely, Laura

  2. My routine is as follows: I never put anything away in drawers or wardrobe with any dirty, greasy, patches or spots (i.e. collars and cuffs; and all folded shawls, blankets are regularly washed and frequently shaken outside in fine weather) - I do not encase anything in poly. bags as you only have to encase a few missed insects to have a breeding ground. (a mink stole in a poly. bag stored for a couple of years, turned into a bag of fluff - happened to me once!). Hoovering rooms round the edges and under all furniture when spring cleaning March/April will dislodge larvae and eggs but it needs constant vigilance wherever there is wool and other animal hairs (rugs, shawls, jerseys) to get rid of them completely once you have had an infection. They are a true pest and seem to hatch out earlier in the year than formerly! If you have an old house there is sometimes a layer of felt for insulation under the floorboards where they breed and come up for food and air - a problem to deal with and you may need pro. help to completely clear them out - boring and expensive! Hope this helps Elizabeth