Dry cleaning is the only recommended method to best maintain blankets size, hand and appearance. When washed, even with a gentle cold wash and dry flat care method, blankets lost 3-6 in length after one washing. Unfortunately, the shrinkage that occurs in wool is not reversible. Attempts to forcefully stretch shrunken wools can weaken and damage the fabric. With successive launderings felting and shrinkage progresses, the fabric becomes stiff and dense, changing the soft hand and smooth appearance of the blankets.
Moth damage to wools mainly occurs during storage or when wool articles are not moved or worn on a regular basis. Clothes moths, which are small buff-colored moths, choose dark, quiet, undisturbed places to lay eggs. It the moth larvae that feed on wool, not the adult moths.
Clean wool articles before placing in storage. Soiled wools (even those with invisible body oils) are more likely to attract moths. Both dry cleaning and/or laundering will remove any moth eggs.
After cleaning, store wools in an airtight bag or container.
Brush wool clothes or blankets occasionally with a lint brush or bristled clothes brush.
Moth Prevention Products
Although the above steps should be effective for moth control, some consumers choose to use additional measures for moth control. Recommended moth control products on the market include mothballs, moth crystals, cedar (in various forms) and herbal sachets. Both the mothballs and crystals are very effective when used as directed. However, cedar and herbal products have only limited effectiveness, and only when the fragrance is quite strong.
Should you end up with moth holes in spite of these precautions - holes can sometimes be repaired by reweaving, but it would be a good idea to have the wool article dry cleaned prior to repair. Dry cleaning will kill and remove any unseen insect larvae and should flush out any loose fibers revealing the full extent of the insect damage. Reweaving involves weaving yarns by hand into the damaged areas to replace the missing yarns. It a tedious process and can be expensive. Look for reweaving services in the yellow pages of the phone book, or by contacting tailors and dry cleaners.