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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Storing your knitwear

Avoid hanging knitwear to protect against stretching.

Avoid storing knitwear in the dark corners of your cupboard, as this is where moths reside the most.

When knitwear garments are not regularly worn, they should be properly stored so they are protected from moth larvae. Toorallie suggests you first your wash garments before storing and always seal them in a plastic bags.

 

Pilling

What is pilling?
Pilling comes about by short or strong loose fibresgathering on the outer surface of the fabric. These fibers protrude from the fabric and tangling together into small fuzzy balls. If a garment is susceptible to pilling this usually occursquickly and normally happens on the parts of the garment that receive the most abrasion. Generally a garment that has not shown signs of pilling in the early stages will look good for years to come.

The primary drivers of pilling are the physical characteristics of the fabric (being both the initial fiber qualities and the way in which it is processed during manufacturing). The personal habits of the wearer and the environment in which the garment is used can also contribute to pilling.

Pilling is one of the most frustrating elements of dealing with a natural fibre like wool. Unfortunately even with the best selection of a natural fibre there will always be some degree of variation. It is the intention of Toorallie to do everything possible to minimise this variation and supply a reliable end fabric for our garments.

Why does pilling occur?
There are many variables that contribute to pilling. Being a natural fibre, every batch of wool is different and may attract varying reasons of why it may pill. Common issues that contribute to pilling are;

Short Fibres (staple length) - greasy wool selection is the first area of which problems can occur. A long wool fibre is best as it integrates better into the yarn when spun, ensuring it is well meshed into the yarn and less likely for fibre ends to protrude. A long staple yarn will perform well when worn and washed.

Dying process - Dying colours into yarns and fabrics is very stressful on the fibres and its structural properties. High temperatures are used and sometimes this can make the fibres brittle and possibly break into shorter fibres.

Knit structure - The stitch used in creating a knitted fabric is important in assisting the durability of the yarn. A tight flat fabric stitch has less surface area and should, theoretically results in less pills and stitch snags. Conversely a loose and boldly textured fabric is more susceptible as it is more exposed with a larger surface area. This issue is particularly frustrating for designers as textured fabrics are more fashionable and have strong consumer demand. This becomes a delicate balance of fashion and function.

Friction - Wear and tear of a garment can also encourage a garment to pill. Continual irritation slowly unseats the yarn structure and rubs the fibres out of the fabric. High wear areas such as under the arms or on the sides are usually problem areas.

Toorallie and pilling garments
Toorallie aims to produce a great quality product at a reasonable price, a product that stands above the ordinary. Raw materials are reviewed regularly along with specifications and garment construction techniques to reduce if not eliminate pilling.

In line with the Toorallie guarantee, if any Toorallie garment pills we would love to hear about it and will in most instances repaired or replaced without hesitation.

 

Moths

Moth Larvae
Contrary to what most people believe adult moths do not eat or cause damage to clothing or fabrics, in fact moths don’t even possess the ability to eat- they don’t have a mouth! It is the larvae, which are solely responsible for this.

Moth larvae can create random holes in either, a concentrated section of the garment or all over it. The damaged areas depend on how the garment was stored and accessible to the larvae. If your garment has unexplained holes developing it is more than likely moth damage. The only other explanation for holes forming on a garment is simple wear and tear, such as snags and tears. Of course the finer the fabric the more easily a hole can be realised from either moth larvae or wear and tear.

A single moth can lay anywhere between 50 and a 1000 eggs and are naturally afraid of light so they tend to exist in the dark infrequently visited corners of drawers and cupboards. Because it only takes one moth to lay the larva most people do not even believe they have a moth problem in their home.

The moth larva survives in domestic environments by getting the proteins they need from keratin which exists in virtually any organic fibre derived from an animal.  They can eat and survive on virtually any natural fibre. Larvae and even the adult moths which select the laying location are actually drawn to the moisture in certain clothes because the larvae must get the moisture they need through their food. Dirty clothes, in particular ones dirtied by sweat, as sweat contains not only moisture but salt and other minerals the larvae needs to survive.

The larvae are also notably hardy and difficult to kill through indirect means and can easily survive temperature extremes as high as 50 degrees C and as low as -8 degrees As such, it’s recommended that you expose them to such extremes for at least a half an hour to really make sure they’re all dead.

The Toorallie guarantee does not cover moth damaged garments.