HOW TO PROTECT YOUR KILT FROM CLOTHES MOTH
Ask anyone to name something Scottish and the kilt is likely to be the first thing that comes to mind. That is of course because kilts are the national dress of Scotland. They are brought out for banquets and big events and in our opinion, they’re right up there, if not surpassing the wedding dress in terms of the significance and sentimental value they hold. Particular tartan weaves, known as setts, can be associated with individual families or clans that go back hundreds of years. They are often family heirlooms and as such are brought out and stored away for many years and undergo repeated maintenance, repairs and resizing over generations. Traditional kilts require eight yards of fabric and can cost hundreds of pounds, so it is to every kilt owners dismay when they discover that clothes moths have been having their very own ‘kilt banquet’ causing costly and sometimes irreparable damage.
WHY DO CLOTHES MOTHS DAMAGE KILTS?
Traditional kilts are made of worsted wool, a long length wool which is tightly woven to create a strong, flat yarn that drapes pleasingly and lends itself to neat edges and the finish needed for kilts and suits. However, as wool is a natural fibre it is highly attractive to clothes moths. Wool and other natural fibres like leather and silk contain keratin, a protein that is the building block for skin, hair, nails, animal horns, hooves and feathers. Keratin is very hard for most things to digest, but clothes moths have developed a niche for themselves here as they can digest it easily and it is highly attractive to them. In the wild, clothes moths serve the valiant purpose of breaking down these parts of animal carcasses as part of the cycle of returning nutrients to the earth but since humans have created nice, warm, cosy homes with wardrobes full of keratin packed treats it’s no wonder our clothes and soft furnishings are at risk.
Image from West Coast Kilts
HOW TO KEEP MOTHS AWAY FROM YOUR KILT
As kilt’s are occasion wear, they spend the majority of the time stored away in the dark and out of sight. This provides the perfect environment for clothes moths to settle in and feed undetected for months. To avoid the heartache of moth holes and to save you costly repairs, there are a number of simple steps you can take.
First things first, make sure that the kilt along with your other Highland wear is dry cleaned before being stored away. Material tainted with food spills, sweat and other bodily secretions from the fun of events such as Burns Night are highly attractive to clothes moths and it is most likely that all of these things are hidden amongst the busy tartan weave after an evening of celebration and frivolity!
Once cleaned, prevent moths from getting access to your kilt by hanging them in storage bags, being mindful not to pack them too tightly. It’s important that the bags are breathable as plastic bags can trap in moisture and encourage mould. Our White Cotton Storage Bags, recommended by House of Edgar, have a wide gusset and they come in two sizes. The small bag is long enough for a kilt, wide enough for a wide hanger and deep enough to store up to two other pieces of Highland wear. The Velcro fastening at the neck ensures that it is fully enclosed to stop moths getting in. We would advise against using storage boxes as folding the kilt will encourage creases in the wrong places however, if you don’t have an option, use breathable Storage Boxes (not plastic) and scrunch up Acid-Free Tissue Paper inside the folds to prevent additional creasing.
Once stored, use moth repellents to keep them away. Moths hate certain natural fragrances, you can find out more about that here. We have a wonderful range of fragranced products, made from organic plants and herbs, which repel clothes moths and gently scent the wardrobe. Try hanging our Vetivert or Cedarwood scented Hanging Sachets inside the storage bag and don’t forget your accessories. Our Drawer Sachets fit neatly in a fur sporran and can be placed among wool socks, we have a handy box on the back of the sachet to write in the date it needs to be changed.
And finally…keep a close eye on your kilt. Get it out to check it regularly for damage and give it a good shake as clothes moths hate to be disturbed. Alternatively, wear it as much as possible!
WHAT KILT & SCOTTISH TEXTILE MAKERS SAY ABOUT OUR CLOTHES MOTH PRODUCTS
We are delighted to say that because our natural products are so effective, some of the leading Scottish brands such as Harris Tweed Hebrides, Johnstons of Elgin, Campbells of Beauly, Scottish Textiles Showcase, 8 Yards, Shilling and Fitz and 21st Century Kilts have added them to their product ranges to ensure that their customers are armed with the best tools to protect new or newly restored kilts and other woollen and cashmere garments. Also, our new Laundry Liquid is available from House of Bruar, made from the purest of ingredients. It is kind for your hands and leaves your special cashmere, wool and delicates left in the best condition with a May Chang blend which helps deter the pesky moths.
Total Wardrobe Care display at 8 Yards
Sam Shillingford of Shilling & Fitz very kindly said
"After years of clients bringing garments to us for repair after moth damage, we started looking for a supplier with a range of moth deterrent products. Whilst we found one or two products from different suppliers, no one had a complete range of solutions we could offer. We were thrilled when we came across Total Wardrobe Care, their product range has everything you could possibly imagine to help deter and ultimately defeat moths from causing damage to clothing and upholstery. The range is stylish, beautifully packaged and extremely practical. We use the Cedar Hanging Sachets in the garment rack in our tailors shop but my personal favourite is the Vetivert Linen Spray." Sam Shillingford, Managing Partner, Shilling & Fitz
Thank you Sam, we love happy customers!
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A CLOTHES MOTH INFESTATION
If you already have a clothes moth infestation, you will need to take a wider approach to include your room or rooms or indeed your whole house. This means a deep clean to remove dust, moth eggs and waste followed by an application of our May Chang scented Chrysanthemum Moth Spray and the placement of Moth Boxes and the amazing Moth Decoy.
For complete advice on how to do this, read our blog on how to use the Chrysanthemum Moth Spray.
Of course all of our products are available to purchase on our website and if you spend over £60, you get free UK Royal Mail Delivery!