March 2008

Moth Proofing Wool

Many knitters/crocheters like to have their wool yarn to be moth proof. This way they do not have to worry about having holes in their wonderful hand-made garments.

Some manufacturers add a chemical called "Mitin FF" into their dye bath which helps prevent woolen garments from being infested. This product has been in use in the US, for moth proofing textile, since 1948. Manufacturers claim that this product, although toxic to moths, is safe for human use, if it is not ingested. I am sure none of us will ingest our knitted/crocheted garments, but I not sure about kids and babies, as they tend to stick everything in their mouths. Mitin FF has been reported to be toxic to birds, fish and mammals, so it can be toxic to little humans.

The best way to fight moths is to keep your garments clean. Do not store garments even if you have worn them once. The body smell and smell of perspiration attracts insects to your garments. Wash or dry clean garments before storage. Store garments in airtight containers.

The vacuum cleaner is your friend. Vacuum your closets and storage areas periodically to get rid of any larvae that might be around. If you can tolerate the smell, place lavender or cedar balls with your clothes. Make sure they are not in close contact with your clothing as they might cause stains.

Up to this point, we have talked about prevention. If you find moths in your closet or clothing or even yarn, hang them outside and air them out. To make sure all the larvae are dead, place your garments in a plastic bag and leave them in the freezer for a couple of days.

For a more detailed article about moths check out http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7435.html.

Nazanin S. Fard

Needlecraft University

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