How to Store Wool

How to Store Wool

We get a lot of questions about how to best store wool in between seasons.

Wool is quite robust, and doesn't need much special treatment. As long as you keep it clean and dry while it's in storage, it'll typically stay in good shape. 

Keep clothes moths away

The only threat worthy of any particular concern, is moths. Clothes moths won't take a bite out of all of your clothes, but they love wool.

Clothes moths feed on animal fibers, especially wool, fur, silk, feathers, felt, and leather. Those materials contain keratin, a protein that moth larvae can digest.

Moths don't like to lay their eggs in places that are frequently disturbed, so they'll typically avoid closets and drawers you use every day. But if you put your wool away for months at the time without touching them, the risk increases. 

But don’t fret! There are some ways to keep your wool from becoming victim to clothes moths.

Cedar to the rescue

We always store our wool with bags of cedar chips (or other cedar products, like hangers or hanger rings) to keep moths away. The cedar oil in the wood repels the clothes moths.

Note, however, that cedarwood dries out over time, so don't rely on the same little bag of cedar chips season after season, but replace it periodically.

For hangers or rings that aren't entirely dry, you may be able to bring out the wood's moth-repellent qualities again by giving them a once-over with fine sandpaper.

Pack in vacuum-sealed bags 

When we pack much of our wool away in the basement for the summer, we usually pack the wool and some cedar chips into airtight containers, such as vacuum sealed bags.

That keeps the clothes dry and clean, more or less regardless of the conditions in the basement, and it keeps unwelcome creatures out.

Shake and hang to get rid of wrinkles

Then, when we take our wool back out from storage, we just give each item a shake to air it out before we fold it and put it back in the closet.

Wool doesn't easily crease or wrinkle, but if there are any wrinkles, we just hang it a little while to let it straighten itself out.

For the rare persistent creases, we might hang the wool in a bathroom while someone takes a shower – or even give it a quick soak – to let the steam and/or water help ease out the wrinkles.

Then we let it hang dry or dry flat before we put it away in its drawer or the closet.

Have any tips or tricks you've learned over the years?

Comment below!

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