Wearing clothes that fit impeccably will make you look taller, more athletic, and render that extra boost of confidence. Fit is an important, if not the most important, aspect of style. Since there’s no standard body shape and type, a perfectly fitted suit or jacket can only be achieved by having them custom made. Maintaining an impeccably curated wardrobe filled with bespoke suits, jackets, wool coats, cashmere knits, and everything season-appropriate can be expensive and time-consuming. It’s not fairly easy to find a tailor you can trust, who understands your needs, and can actually deliver. Hence, it should be a top priority to properly care for your bespoke pieces so they will last long, keep their form, and you’ll get value for your money.
If you’re not mindful about properly storing your bespoke suits and garments, you might find clothes moths that will ruin your prized possessions. Here’s how to guard your treasured pieces against them.
A Great Peril, Moths
Domsetic moths tend to crop up around spring time and lay their eggs on fabrics that have been left undisturbed for even the shortest amount of time. But it is not the adult moth that causes damage to clothin. Rather, it’s the larvae which spawn and eat keratin for nutrition. Unfortunately, keratin forms a substantial part of most natural fabrics like wool and cashmere, making these textiles more prone to getting destroyed by these insects. Stains and food spills add to the problem as these small creatures like to feast on them to get the vitamins they need. Lastly, human moisture (e.g. oils and salts) are also attractive to moths.
How to guard your clothes against them?
There are preventative and responsive measures.
Let's start with the latter. In the unfortunate event of your bespoke suits or other garments already being infested,
It might be a good idea to put your clothing in a plastic bag, and then in the freezer for, at least, three days to kill the larvae. Should there be an infestation, and depending on the severity, it may altogether be a good idea to dispose of any contaminated pieces. It may be heartbreaking but it will save you from further headaches down the road. This is best left to your judgement.
Store your clothes properly.
Dry clean your clothes first before storing them away for the season. This is to make sure they’re free of moth eggs. Wools, coats, and suits must be immaculately clean to avoid them from being homes to these pests. Invest in high-quality zippered cotton garment bags. Don’t make the mistake of storing your clothes in plastic garment bags or other non-breathable bags, as this prevents your garments from drying from a day's wear. Cotton, waxed or otherwise, can serve a physical barrier against moths and water droplets, but let smaller air molecules freely in and out.
Let your clothes breathe.
Keeping your clothes in plastic garment bags from the dry cleaners can do more harm than good as they don’t let the suit breathe. When we wear our clothes, they accumulate moisture and odours from our bodies, so it is essential to let them breathe during storage. If kept in a plastic garment bag, especially in a more humid environment, there is a risk of finding mildew and a musty smell on the suit.
Clean the suit properly
Avoid sending your bespoke clothing to the dry cleaner after every wear. It should be done not more than twice a year since the chemicals in the detergent can damage your clothes’ material.
Simply brushing your suit can clean away all the dust, dirt, and lint accumulated in the fibres. But don’t use just any brush. Choose a natural-bristled one that is gentle on the cloth to avoid further damage to the suit. Start brushing from the collar down to the shoulder, slowly working your way down to the hem.
If there is a stain on the suit, it could be treated with a stain remover. But make sure to choose a good one with gentle detergents as harsh chemicals could mar the fabric. It is also good to rotate our suits and not wear them for consecutive days as they need to rest and aerate properly.
Single-type Bristle vs Dual-type Bristle
There are also practical measures one can take with respect to their closet of wardrobe.
Of course, in the case of a moth infestation, thoroughly clean your wardrobe using a vacuum or carpet steamer. Discard the vacuum bag as soon as you’re done cleaning as it most probably is filled with moth eggs.
More generally, make sure the environment is dry and well-ventilated. This will prevent moisture from building up. Use a dehumidifier during humid months, if need be. This is because dry air is less accommodating for moths.
Painting your closet dark will help you identify the eggs faster and easier. Remember, the eggs damage the clothes, not the adult moths. Eggs are creamy white in colour; hence, if your walls are dark, you can spot them earlier on and prevent another round of infestation.