Moth control measure thanks to JohnM

Anything involving uniforms, cloth headgear and accessories.

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Moth control measure thanks to JohnM

Post by Gustaf » Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:13 pm

For you do it yourselfers here is a conservation tip straight from the conservatory that does the tapestries for the Cathedral of St. John the Divine here in NYC.

To ensure you get any moth eggs out of a fabric you need a commercial grade freezer or can attempt it with a home one if it's cold enough. I stress it myst be very cold. Forget your refrigerator freezer as it won't do the job.

Wrap your garment completely in plastic and drop into your freezer for 1 week. Remove said garment and bring it into a very warm room and let it warm up. Vacum anything you see on it and rewrap. Drop back into the freezer. Leave for another week and repeat the process. Repeat the cycle again for a minimum total of 3 cycles. You can do more if you feel like it as there are limits to how much you can do this.

Carefully vacum the entire garment. If you are not going to display the article put it back in the freezer.

The reasoning behind this process is that the artifical cycle you are creating mimicks nature and forces any Moth eggs to hatch. Moth eggs can lay dormant for many many years. By forcing the eggs to hatch and then refreezing them you kill the larvae.

For added measure if you piece was heavily mothed, wrap the piece in a cotton towel or heavy t-shirt and drop the piece after you have done the above freezing, into a sealable plastic container. Add Moth balls and let it set for a week. Remember that Moth Balls only kill active moths and larvae but does nothing to eggs.


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zipperheads9
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Thank's Gus /John

Post by zipperheads9 » Fri Oct 26, 2007 11:07 pm

Now how to keep the little bugger's out of a collection any help? I can freeze that 1917 mutzen at work but that would be a one time thing.
Any hint's on control and preservation of larger areas?
mark

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Post by JohnM » Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:38 pm

Not sure how large of area you are refering to. You can use also use and inverse of this treatment by really getting a woolen article very very hot. We are talking about 110 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 + minutes.

Believe it or not I have been able to get this temperature in my sealed attic during the summer. It's like an oven.

My suggestion for very large pieces (such as a trench coat that I purchased that looks like swiss cheese)it to place the item in a 24 gallon plastic tub. I then put lots of mothballs at the bottom of the tub, in the coat pockets, between the folds of the coat and sealed the tub with tape, making sure it didn't leak air. Careful with some metals as they may react with mothballs.

As the mothballs disentegrate they will form a gas. This gas will seep into the coat. Leave the coat in the tub for at least 3 weeks in a room temperature or better area.

The key to moth prevention however is a clean item. If you think an item is suspect you may want to quarantine it from your other items until you can be absolutely positive you have a moth free item.

Here is a great article:

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/PUBS/INSECT/05599.html

John

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Re: Moth control measure thanks to JohnM

Post by Spiker » Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:05 am

For further maintenance, I’ll throw anything at them; the paper sheets are easy to put in a uniform, but I use spray too, just to be sure. :army:

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