How To Clean And Care For Alpaca Products
People give a lot of attention to Alpaca now a days as it has become more commonly known as the fibre that out performs other fibres such as wool, synthetic yarns and in many respects cashmere. In this page we will pass on the knowledge so you may care for alpaca products. Much of the knowledge of alpaca has been known for millennia and recognised by the ancient Inca civilisation of Peru. Alpaca was and still is known as the “Fibre of the gods” and was reserved for the use of Inca royalty the wealthy or influential citizens.
Although Alpaca is now a far more common yarn which we find in the make up of many modern clothes. It is still not common to know how to care for clothes made from the fibre of the gods. This to often means that people that were lucky enough to have been bought a luxurious item of clothing made in alpaca. Which could be a item you may pass on from generation to generation for many years. Is either ruined or not bought in the fear that it will be ruined when caring for the product.
This will not be a problem that you need to worry about. As long as you carry on reading through this page to learn everything that you need to know. For maintaining Alpaca clothing and accessories and keep it silky and soft for a life time!
After generations producing and caring for alpaca products. Our Peruvian suppliers have learnt the “Do’s and Don’ts that will help us with the garment care and so maintain the quality and softness for years to come. Follow these simple steps and your alpaca garment will actually get better with age!
Alpaca is a breed apart when it comes to natural fibres. Stronger, softer, lighter, and warmer than either merino wool or in some cases cashmere, it’s a natural choice for winter clothing and accessories. It’s also resistant to pilling and won’t shrink if proper care is given, making it possible to keep your alpaca clothing for years, even decades!
When we sell Alpaca in it’s natural shades the fibre is stronger, softer, lighter and warmer than merino wool. With only the very top quality cashmere that you may find when searched for, can be slightly high quality. Still this is only a small amount softer and warmer than the top quality Alpaca but still not as strong or light. Also Cashmere can’t compete when it come to the sustainability of the fibres. With cashmere having so many negative environmental impacts and Alpaca still at this stage very much an eco-friendly product. It’s also resistant to pilling and when cared for well will not shrink and so timeless pieces can be passed on through the generations.
The luxury softness is the first and main element that Alpaca fleece and fibre is famous for. As well as this it is hypoallergenic as it doesn’t contain lanolin. An oil produced in wool by sheep that often causes discomfort for people with sensitive skin and dermatological disorders.
Silky smooth, soft and hypoallergenic is just where we start as Alpaca fibres make extremely durable and resistant garments. It’s strength reduces any stretching and distortion. The natural oil that comes from the fibre means that articles of clothing don’t stain as easily or badly as they do on other fibre types. From Alpaca’s water resistance qualities, you may simply dab spills dry with a cloth. An finally due to the natural properties of the Alpaca fibre static electricity is reduced so dust and dirt is not attracted.
We know Alpaca to be very green and without doubt one of the most green animals in the world. As they have adapted to live in the very harsh Andean mountain environment. They have a very minimal eco-footprint. With soft pads on their feet instead of hooves that do very little damage to their terrain. Plus the efficiency in the way they eat results in greatly reducing the amount of water that they consume and amount of land they need for grazing.
Alpaca’s produce substantial amounts of fleece annually and so sheering them harmlessly adds to their sustainable credentials. As an alpaca does not naturally contain lanolin and other oils found within sheep’s wool. You do not need harsh chemicals in the process of making alpaca fibre. This means alpaca farming is 100% natural and has no negative effects on the environment.
Any lovers of natural animal fibres that look to have a minimal environment impact need too look no further than Alpaca. As when you care for alpaca clothing by following the recommendations it is almost indestructible so will be wearable for many many years. Reducing your carbon footprint and reducing the need for further purchases many of clothing. The fact that there are Alpaca garment dating back as much as 2000 years from the Inca civilisation. That are still in good condition goes to show that if you buy a timeless piece. Imagine all the new and different fashion trends and cycles that a timeless Alpaca item of clothing will see you through!
How to clean your alpaca clothing
- Add a small amount of mild detergent like baby shampoo or a fine fibre formula to a sink or bath of cold water. Only use pristine cold water with nothing else added.
- Leave the clothes in the cold water for 3-5 minutes, gently squeezing the suds through the garment. Try to avoid strubbing, twisting, wringing or otherwise agitating it, as this will cause felting.
- Any garments that have been dyed have the chance of bleeding but as alpaca fibre takes dying better than almost all other fibres. This should not be an issue after the first time the garment has been washed.
- Twice rinse the garment, again with clean cold water. Now gently squeeze out any excess water. Make sure you are gently when handling the garment which will avoid wrinkling and distortions.
- Lay the clothes onto a towel and place a second towel on top. Roll the two towels up with the garment in between and leave for an hour.
- Now place the garment onto a fresh dry towel and let it dry away from direct sunlight or heat.
- After the clothes have been dried, if it has any wrinkles or markings you can lightly steam the garment with an iron or hang it up in the bath room while the shower in running to let the steam ease away any creases.
Professionally dry cleaning the clothes will be best if you do not have the time to wash your garments. If so, be sure to point out any spots or stains so they will use the best methods to remove the marks.
How to store alpaca clothing
Alpaca clothing is of the quality that it may last for generations if preserved and kept well. It is not uncommon for moths and other pests to damage Alpaca garments during storage. Even specific breeds of dogs will be attracted to the scent of alpaca. If any of your alpaca clothing collection is decide to be be seasonal. Then after a complete and extensive cleaning using the instructions on the previous page. As pests are drawn to dirt and body oils on fibres. Fold or roll your alpaca garments then seal in a breathable bag in a cool place. Do not store your knitwear on a coat hanger as it may stretch.
Alpaca Fur Products
For all our fur items, we recommend that you use a wire pet brush to restore the fur. Avoid wearing perfume or hairspray if this might come into direct contact with your fur as the alcohol/chemicals content can dry out the leather skin. Oils may also penetrate the fur and turn rancid. For more serious cleaning or for when liquids have been spilt on the fur, cover the stain with talcum powder and gently but deeply rub in. Leave for an hour or two then brush away the excess. This will lift residues and dirt from the shaft of the fibre and restore the fluffiness of the fur. (Advice only and subject to severity of damage)