Repair Story by Maia Rowan
I am currently recovering from a moth infestation. It may sound melodramatic, because it’s only moths, I mean they kind of look like butterflies, not the worst bug around. However it really was an infestation. About three years ago my boyfriend and I got moths. We were living in a big shared house and it’s possible that everyone got moths, but I’m pretty sure we were the only ones who noticed. I made a lame attempt to wash all my clothes and try to keep them separate from anything else in the house. But we certainly didn’t wash everything in the vicinity, and slowly over the last three years they have started to come back.
This process was one of repair. Repairing our house so that we can live moth free, repairing our clothes so they can continue to be used.
This summer was the tipping point. I’m not sure if it was the fact that both of us were away for several weeks, or if we brought home a remnant moth from the studio when we packed up at the end of the school year. It may also have been the six vintage wool jackets sitting in the closet that no one wears. The trouble with moths is that once you really start examining whether you have them or not you realize they are on everything. Sweaters, clothing, textiles for prototyping, blankets, a bag I made in second grade that was home for my childhood drawings. So we faced the facts and had to wash everything, dry everything, and dry-clean the expensive stuff.
This process was one of repair. Repairing our house so that we can live moth free, repairing our clothes so they can continue to be used. Truthfully I’ve never done more laundry in my life. After the last three days of cleaning and laundry I now feel a stronger sense of care for my objects. The ones that I’ve kept are the ones I put so much effort into repairing.