Guest Author - Laun Dunn
Like any new spinner, I thought having a stash of fiber was something that happened to other people. I kept running into that awful barrier named my budget. But it really didnít take long before I had amassed a stash that now occupies an entire room! What is the proper way to store fiber? What do you do if you see a moth? These are the worries of all fiber enthusiasts.
I store my processed fiber separately from the raw fiber. I keep all of the raw fiber tightly sealed either in plastic bags or air tight containers. If I get a questionable fleece (these are the free ones that just show up on my door), I keep it separate from the rest of my raw fiber and try to wash it as soon as possible. Also remember that moths are creatures of darkness, a good sunning can be useful in eradicating them. Just be sure to take your fiber in before the sun goes down.
Another option is to place the fiber in a hot car for a few days. The car must reach an interior temperature of 120 degrees. If the weather is not warm enough to heat the car interior sufficiently, the next option is the freezer. Place the bag of suspect fiber into the freezer and leave it for a week. You can also use an unheated breezeway or other enclosure during very cold winter months for this purpose, but it must be subzero temperatures.
Whatever you do, do not use moth balls! They are a health hazard and suspected carcinogen. Besides, do you really want your beloved stash to smell like that?
I use lavender in my totes as a natural pest deterrent. In addition to lavender, other herbs are also natural repellants. Mint, thyme, rosemary and cloves can also be kept in sachets in your fiber containers. Be sure to use sachet fabric that will allow the scent to escape, but not open netting that could permit the herbs to have direct contact with the fiber. The room where I store my fiber has a window that gets an hour or so of very direct sunlight. Placing a bar of lavender soap on the window sill fills the entire room with that wonderful scent!
The other tried and true option is cedar. Like the herbs, it is a repellant, so be sure to inspect the fiber before storing it. Cedar chests are a bit small when you are talking about fiber storage, but they will house your finished items and even your yarn nicely. A cedar closet can successfully hold a small stash.
The best pest control is diligence. Keep an eye on your fiber. Take it out and look it over from time to time. It may just inspire you to spin it!