storage periods of 6 to 12 months. Furs suspected of being
infested should be cleaned prior to cold storage by a
professional cleaner using the furrier method.
Freezing to control all stages of insect pests is effective
provided the procedure is done properly and the necessary
minimum freezer temperatures are obtained. Some house-
hold chest freezers will maintain -20
F but the average
temperature is approximately -10
F. Although a complete
kill can be obtained at -10
F. it would take much longer; the
cooler the temperature the faster the result. Check your
freezer before you attempt this method.
Generally, the infested materials are placed in polyeth-
ylene bags, the excess air is squeezed out of the bag as much
as possible, and it is then sealed tightly. The bag is then
placed in a chest-type freezer for a minimum of 48-72 hours
F. After the item is removed from the freezer, place it in
a refrigerator and let it thaw slowly before finally bringing to
room temperature. Items should remain in the polyethylene
bag until brought to room temperature. For complete insect
kill, it is also desirable to immediately repeat the freeze-thaw
cycle before removing the contents of the bag.
This procedure could be used by consumers for treating
small items which have signs of possible insect contamina-
tion that would be difficult to launder, such as hanks of yarn
or feather accessories.
Miscellaneous Control Methods
Insecticide products intended for direct application on
clothing, bedding or textiles in the home for either the
treatment or prevention of fabric pests are not currently
available to consumers.
that may be used for treating
cracks, crevices, and other areas where fabric pests may be
cannot be used to treat clothing or textile
. Always read the directions of any product carefully
before purchase and use.
Mothproofing is a chemical treatment given to fabrics that
protects them from insects without leaving any odor. Items
purchased with ìmothproofî or ìmoth resistantî on the label
have been treated with a protective chemical when they were
manufactured. This process is considered permanent.
Mothproofing products that can be applied using home
laundering methods are not currently being marketed for
Mitin FF is an industrial mothproofing agent available to
consumers and used by home spinners and dyers who make
or process their own yarn. It is a permanent mothproofer
which acts like a colorless dye. It is claimed that this
mothproofer is fast to washing, dry cleaning and to light, and
does not interfere with subsequent working of the goods. It
can be applied either in the dye bath or as a separate
application. It is not generally used on finished garments.
Repairing the Damage
All is not lost when a garment has been damaged by
fabric pests. Such damage, as well as damage from burns,
tears, etc., can be repaired or camouflaged. Choose one of
the methods below and consider the following questions:
ï What was the original price of the damaged garment?
ï Would it be expensive to replace?
ï Would you miss it?
ï Do you have several items that coordinate with the
ï Would it be cheaper to repair than replace?
Although probably the costliest choice, reweaving may
save you a lot of money and could provide the best result.
There are two types of reweaving: French and Piece. In both
methods, all work is done from the top side of the garment.
is used to repair small holes. Threads
are collected from elsewhere on the garment and the hole is
actually rewoven with those threads. It is usually almost
impossible to see this type of repair, even when pointed out.
is used to repair larger holes. For this
method, you need a piece of the fabric to make a patch in
order to make the repair. Pieces can be obtained from
facings, hemlines, pockets, etc. In this method, the threads
from the edges of the fabric ìpatchî are rewoven into the
edges of the hole.
The cost of reweaving, as well as the appearance of the
completed mend, will depend on: the method of reweaving,
the size and location of the hole, the type of fabric and
weave, and the time involved. A hole may cost approxi-
mately $30 to repair; several may cost approximately $70.
When having this type of work done, ask to see examples
of the work or ask for references. Sometimes this type of
work is done locally; sometimes a local store will send it to
a regional location that specializes in such work.
Sometimes the addition of a scarf, belt, pin or jacket may
hide the hole. Is the location such that something could be
added that would cover the hole? Is the design, fabric, or
style suitable for adding any embellishment such as an
applique, decorative thread, buttons, jewels, patches, etc.?
Ask a creative person for suggestions.
Consider the location of the hole and think of alterna-
tives. Could a pocket be added, a hemline or dart altered,
a cuff added? Try looking at fashion magazines for current
ideas and stretch your imagination!