Unlike superfine wools, which are chemically treated and highly processed to achieve their ‘washability’, our wool will felt up if it is washed with water and friction. This is, after all, the basis of felting wool – so you can have a go yourself in the washing machine if you want to make a denser felt. If not, then we suggest very gentle rinsing, air drying on a flat sweater rack or dry cleaning. Perhaps a damp sponge and then a good airing is enough most of the time.
Clothes moths can be attracted to wool because of the keratin, which they smell. They are particularly fond of dark, undisturbed corners (like storage cupboards and lofts), where they lay their eggs in the wool and the larvae eat it as they grow.
There are various ways of protecting wool from moths. We initially tried misting our wool with a dilute solution of Boron Ultra 12 (4.9%), but we have latterly decided that treatment prior to processing (felting) is by far the safest approach. Our wool is now treated, after scouring, with a chemical called Ecolan, a non-insecticide. This process can potentially protect the wool for the lifetime of the fibres.
As we have been unable to secure a 100% guarantee from the manufacturer’s representatives in the UK, we have taken their advice and had samples of our wool, post processing, analysed and both the new wool arriving at our workshop and wool from installed clouds have been shown to meet the recommended levels of treatment.
In addition to this, we have conducted our own tests introducing moth grubs to our treated wool, in a confined space and the wool remained untouched.
Whilst we cannot categorically state that our products will never get moth, as the chemical manufacturers refuse to give this guarantee, we can certainly say that we are using one of the most commonly used industrial treatments and we have done as much as we can to satisfy ourselves that moth grubs do not eat Ecolan treated wool.