Friday, April 12, 2013

Pest Issues...

Today I wish to share a cautionary tale....

I was out buying the lining fabric for my Mad Men Challenge shift dress and while in the store I noticed a couple of holes in my fabric (see below). To start with I thought that it could have been my fault, as I'd already pre-washed the fabric in the washing machine and I was worried that my washing machine made the holes. But then the lovely store assistant said they looked like moth holes. Upon closer inspection we noticed that there was a second set of matching holes on the layer that was underneath when it had been folded, confirming the suspicion that a sneaky moth had been snacking on my lovely fabric!

So, later that day I popped into the supermarket and stocked up on moth-repellent type things. I wasn't sure whether the moth balls or the camphor would be better, so now my wardrobe is home to both! If anybody knows more about it, and whether I should or shouldn't have both please let me know.

(I know that pantry moths and clothes moths are two different types of moths but we have pantry moths too, hence the pantry moth trap).

Lately I have been storing my stash on my bookshelf in rolls. I liked storing it this way as it is out and visible and easy to see what I have and inspire me. Due to the layout of our flat my room doesn't get any direct daylight at all, so I don't need to worry about sunlight damaging the fabric.

However, I got worried that the nice accessibility of the fabric to me also means accessibility of the fabric to moths (and other pests), so my fabric is now back where it used to be; in air-tight plastic boxes on the shelf in my wardrobe.

Before cutting out the pieces for my dress I gave the fabric a quick press, and examined it carefully for any other holes. Thankfully there were only the two patches of holes, which I marked clearly with my tailors chalk so I could easily make sure that I wouldn't accidentally place a pattern piece over one of the holes.

I thought I was ok for moth repellent stuff in my wardrobe, but closer examination showed me that I had the little plastic cage hanging there but it was completely empty. So, take heed of my problem and keep and eye out for moths and check that your own mothballs/camphor aren't empty!


  1. Oh Noooo! You know what I'm going to be doing as soon as I get home tonight? Unfolding and checking all my pretties.
    I use cloves and clove oil to ward away silverfish (works a charm AND smells delicious) but unsure if this extends to months also. Time to consult Shannon Lush's books - she always has the best (non-chemical) way to get rid of these things!

  2. Have you try small bag with lavender seeds in it. It is a perfect natural repelent for moses. In Europe, it is working really well, but maybe the Australian does not have the same nose... :-)

  3. Pesky little gits! hahaha

    How very rude of them moths!

    Thanks for the warning, I'll be on the lookout in my stash!

    Bundana x

  4. Ooops! I had once the same issue - the risk of buying last pieces of fabrics ... The fabric was in light colour - i have noticed it after cutting the back and front piece. Challenge! how to cover it. I have mange to put some patches at the worng site so you do not see these small hols from the right site. Lesson learned - check good the fabric before cutting and maybe even before buying it.
    I hope you will find a solution and sill will be able to proceed with your Mad Men Challenge! Success! :-)

  5. Oh no! At least you were able to cuts around the holes :) the fabric looks lovely.

  6. I have a fair stash of yarn, so I'm a bit paranoid about moths - it is a bit like scattering the lawn with sunflower seed and expecting the birdies to stay away! So all my yarn lives in ziplock bags, with cedarwood balls in between for extra protection.

    My fabric stash, on the other hand, is still pretty small and I only have one length of wool. I'm considering either a sealed plastic box (with cedar balls again), or a zip-up garment bag (I end to store my fabric hung up with skirt/trouser hangers). I'm intrigued by fabric rolling - do you not find that it creases?

  7. Drat and double drat! I can't wear wool, so get to bypass these pesky pests, but sympathize nonetheless. Nothing should bother our precious fabrics!

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  9. ugh, that is crap. I have not had that problem myself but my mom has been burned enough times that now her whole house smells like moth balls. well, it's not really that bad :) but I definitely notice if she sends me some old notions or something that have been tucked away for a while in a drawer!

  10. This is soooo annoying! I use both the camphor and the other kind of moth balls (but keep them away from kids and animals) AND I use lots of lavender and anything else I can think of. My fabric lives in plastic crates with lids on top, but the moths seem clever enough to find in progress projects that are lying about. I have a favourite wool dress that developed two neat moth holes in the centre of the front skirt as I was finishing the dress grrrrrr - I still wear it (so there moths!)

    Oh and I heard it's not the moths that do the eating but the hungry little babies that come out of moth eggs. Makes it hard to spot the villains!

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