Moth eaten – lesson on how not to store woolens

First of all, I have returned from a trek to New Orleans, where I have been reunited with the remainder of my stash. Normally, I would not store a stash, but I left the country. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Somehow the yarn was fine, but I certainly learned my lesson about last-minute storage of wool rugs in cardboard boxes.

And I also learned my lesson about storing thrift-acquired wool coats from the Navy in plastic bags – though at least this is salvageable.

Has anyone else had this problem?

When I put these into storage over 2 years ago, I did not know that woolens should be stored in brown paper bags, according to somebody I spoke with in the past couple of months. Bugs, including moths, will eat through plastic (I wish I could show you the shredded bag that the coat was in) but they can’t eat through cellulose. This site also mentions cleaning as a method to warding off the moths and recommends storage in airtight containers, which is what saved the stash.

This site, however, recommends wrapping loosely in acid-free paper and storing in a box with airholes. Hmmm. It also debunks the myth of moths ‘eating’ wool – apparently the holes are caused by some liquid excreted by larvae. Ew. I prefer to envision ‘moth-eaten,’ thank you.

Upon further googling, there seems to be some conflict as to the best method of storage. Here is a summary.
store in airtight container, bugs can’t get to them;
do not store in airtight container, wool can’t breath and could rot;
use mothballs but not directly on fabric;
do not use mothballs, they are carcinogenic!
store in clear plastic bags to increase light – moths like dark places;
do not store in plastic bags – bugs can eat through them!
use cedar chips or store in cedar containers, but sand it periodically to release the cedar goodness;
– the repellent properties of cedar are overstated and while a good cedar chest is helpful, bugs can still get in cracks.

You can see that it’s hard to know what to do.

Non-conflicting opinion(s):
– clean woolens before storing (I guess yarn doesn’t count);
– store in a cool, dry atmosphere;
– examine once a year;
– quarantine things that have been attacked by bugs.

[crap! I took the One-Sleeve Wonder out of the wool wash – this sweater should have been my first finished sweater way back when, but as you can see…it has problems. And now – I just noticed two moth holes! Here is one – right next to the sleeveless right armpit.]

And – some gratuitous kittie porn – what is happening here??

a) Artemis has swallowed Max’s head
b) During their extensive naps, their heads have morphed into one
c) My two cats have been replaced by a double-bodied demon
d) other?


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