Congratulations on owning an alpaca garment! If you can’t actually own a real alpaca…it’s the next best thing! Ancient Incan kings considered alpaca an ‘Inca treasure’ and referred to alpaca fiber as the “fiber of the gods.” Once reserved only for royalty to wear, alpaca clothing is now becoming a world-renowned valuable and affordable luxury!
Alpaca fiber is softer, stronger, lighter and warmer than cashmere and wool. It keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. With proper care, your alpaca garment may be a part of your wardrobe for many decades and beyond! Certain alpaca garments are considered heirlooms which can be passed on from generation to generation.
Alpaca fiber is lanolin free, so it is considered hypoallergenic and “scratch” free. Since it is somewhat water-resistant, simply blotting spills immediately off your garment may prevent staining. Alpaca fiber has a self-regulating cleaning effect. Sometimes, airing garments in the cool damp night air will help disperse odor and remove wrinkles.
If your garment is woven, such as with many scarves and capes, or is made with fur or has fur trim, the item must be professionally dry cleaned.
Most items require simple hand washing every few years:
- When it is time to wash your alpaca garment, place a small drop of mild shampoo (Human shampoo; no detergent, no harsh chemicals, no conditioner) in a sink full of cool water.
- Swish water around with your hand to produce suds.
- Gently place alpaca garment in cool soapy water.
- Soak garment in soapy water for 3-5 minutes.
- Rinse garment at least two times in clean cool water.
- Do NOT vary between hot and cold water temperatures as felting can occur.
- Take garment out of the rinse water without agitating, twisting or wringing!
- Gently place garment flat between two clean dry towels and gently roll together.
- Let rest for 2-3 minutes.
- Carefully take garment out from between the two towels and place on a third clean dry towel.
- Lay flat to dry and smooth out wrinkles.
- When top of garment is dry, reverse and place garment onto another clean dry towel to allow the opposite side of garment to dry.
- Smooth wrinkles.
- Drying time depends on temperatures, humidity and type of garment.
- Drying time could take between 2-4 plus days.
After product has dried, touch up with a cool iron, if needed. A damp, clean cotton cloth must be placed between the garment and the iron. Make sure the cotton cloth does not contain any color that can fade onto your alpaca garment.