How To Mothproof Your Cashmere & Knitwear
[unpaid/affiliate] Experience has taught me that cashmere is the caviar of the moth world. They love it. In the UK we have two types of moths that like to dine on our best woollies – the common clothes moth and the case-bearing clothes moth. It doesn’t really matter which sort you have because the solution is the same for both.
I’m from Scotland, the home of cashmere, so over the years I’ve learned (the hard way) that you have to be meticulous and consistent in keeping moths at bay. Clothes moths love nothing more than a dark, warm space (i.e. your drawers or wardrobe) and they prefer clothes that have been worn because they have traces of skin or food to make things extra delicious. I have accrued a lot of cashmere and read so many tips (including washing at 60 degrees which will ruin your knitwear so don’t follow that one!). My own tips for keeping them pristine are:
- As soon as you get your cashmere or wool home from the store, put it in your freezer. I bought a small freezer for exactly this purpose (it was less than a cashmere sweater in price). The low temperature ensures that larvae can’t survive as long as you give it 48 hours. You might want to put your sweaters in bags before you put them in the freezer (I don’t).
- Regularly put your cashmere and wool through the freezing process – every few months or so.
- Store your cashmere and woollens anywhere other than your wardrobe or drawers. I have a zipped bag (HERE) that acts as an external drawer and it lives under my bed.
- As soon as you have finished wearing an item, store it away in the zipped bag. Don’t leave anything on the floordrobe overnight.
- Keep pheromone traps (HERE) throughout the house.
[Cos cashmere hoodie £150 HERE] Pheromone traps work by luring the males towards them using a scent that is similar to female moths. The male moths think they’re finding a mate but instead find themselves trapped on the sticky surface of the trap strip. Because the strips are so sticky, it’s best to invest in the trap cages that strips can slide into to avoid them attaching to your clothes or passing pets.
[Cos Cashmere hoodie £150 HERE]. If you have active moths in your knitwear, your best course of action is to start freezing straight away. If you don’t have much freezer space, you can do it on rotation, carefully putting away the frozen clothes into the zipped bag away from the ones that haven’t been frozen and replacing with the next lot. As each garment gets frozen and replaced you are building a moth free zone for your clothes. Cashmere hoodies are a bit of an obsession – I wear them so much – below is one from Scott & Scott at Brand Alley HERE – as is the grey cable knit in the main picture. There’s an extra 20% off just now.
I don’t believe in over-washing cashmere and woollens – only wash them (using a hand-wash) when they absolutely need it. You can treat accidental food drops by just washing the area that needs it rather than the entire garment.
Don’t forget about scarves, hats and gloves which you are likely to keep in a different place to your sweaters and joggers. Use exactly the same methods and keep them in a zipped bag wherever is convenient. The key is consistency so that moths never have a chance to even sniff the possibility of lovely cashmere. Once you’re in the routine of it, you will have perfect cashmere for years and years.
Moths in the UK tend to increase in number in spring time (warmer weather) and in autumn (central heating) so be extra vigilant at that time. It’s a good idea to do a freeze treatment before packing your winter clothes away and getting out your summer wardrobe.
All products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.