Nobody loves natural fibres more than us!
They’re less damaging to the environment, their breathable qualities make them soft and airy against the skin, and their distinctive textures make for a varied and interesting wardrobe.
But just like many great things in life, all-natural clothes have a downside…
Natural yarns such as sheep’s wool, silk, and cashmere (sound familiar?) are rich in keratin – a key structural protein found in our hair and nails, as well as wool, fur, horns, and so on.
Moth larvae absolutely love it. This is why you may have been unlucky enough to dig out your favourite silk scarf for a special occasion, only to discover that it’s full of holes!
This kind of wardrobe tragedy has become all-too-common in recent years, with more and more people electing to wash their clothes at 30°C in order to curb their energy consumption. This simply isn’t hot enough to kill off the larvae that feed on natural fibres. Pest control giant Rentokil even observed a 60% increase in callouts to moth infestations in the past four years, as reported in this Telegraph article.
An easy way to stop moth larvae munching on your beloved knits is to start washing at 55°C – but this will pose a strain on both your bills and the planet. Furthermore, if you wash your natural knitwear and other delicate at any temperature’s higher than 30°C, you’ll run the risk of shrinking them.
Luckily, there’s a greener, crafty solution to protect your knits that we absolutely love: DIY all-natural moth repellent sachets.
You don’t have to be a Pinterest sensation to take advantage of this great lifehack. All you need is a handkerchief, (or any other square of cloth) for each sachet, some ribbon, and a handful of dried herbs known to repel moths.
These herbs include:
Aaaand you’re done!
Now that you have your natural anti-moth sachets, hang them up in your wardrobe or leave them in the drawers where you keep your wool. If you have trouble with other pests, sachets containing mint can be effective at keeping ants and rodents out of food cupboards, and lavender can repel spiders. Squeezing your sachet every now and then will help the herbs excrete their scent and keep them working better for longer.
If you don’t have the time to make your own sachets, or you don’t trust yourself with this kind of crafty project, our friends at First Natural Brands make their own all-natural wool protector sachets.
I am Australian and lived for many years in the Melbourne, Victoria area. My friends' aunt , who had a property and bred merino sheep told me to wash my jumpers in Tea Tree Oil or gum tree oil. Just a few drops in the last rinse water will keep moths and silverfish at bay!! It does work too!!
Another option is to put the wet garment in the microwave and run it on full power for a couple of minutes. It nukes all pests. Good luck!
Moths love high humidity and temperatures around 25 C. Since putting the all-natural fiber garments at high temperature would shrink them, I decided to go with the other possible option to move away from their comfort zone - freeze them in the fridge.