Alpaca wool is especially popular for the production of socks, scarves, or sweaters because the individual fibers’ fineness ensures maximum comfort.

However, if you want to enjoy these fine pieces for as long as possible, you have to care for them accordingly. This is relatively easy with alpaca wool if you know how to care for it.

Everything you need to know about alpaca wool care

Alpaca is a very exclusive fabric and therefore needs a little special care – but this does not mean that you have to handle alpaca wool with kid gloves.

Since alpaca fashion is not cheap, many enthusiasts try to protect the garments from wind and weather. However, this is not necessary – on the contrary:

  • Alpaca fiber is very robust and durable
  • The stain-resistant fibers are at the same time easy to clean and look noble.
  • The Alpaca fibers are tear-resistant.
  • Alpaca fibers are dirt-repellent.
  •  Alpaca fibers are antibacterial and odorless.

Compared to sheep’s wool, it is also three times more tear-resistant.
You can wear your favorite alpaca wool pieces more often until they need to be cleaned.

Tip: Often, a short airing is enough to remove unpleasant odors

How to wash alpaca wool properly

If your favorite alpaca wool pieces are worn particularly often, cleaning is also no longer avoidable at some point. For gentle washing is recommended in any case a wool detergent.

There are three ways to clean alpaca wool optimally:

1. Cleaning in the washing machine: in principle, there is nothing against cleaning Alpaca garments in the machine washing. But be aware this is only recommended if your washing machine comes with a particular wool wash cycle. “Normal” programs are a little too harsh and can lead to the matting of the fibers.

2. Cleaning by hand: particularly gentle and a good choice for light soiling or freshening up. Soak in warm water (around 30 degrees Celsius) with wool detergent and swirl back and forth. Light dirt will come off. Afterward, simply rinse again with clear lukewarm water

Tip: You should not rub the fabric together in any case when washing the garment; otherwise, small nodules could form, which do not look nice.

3. Professional cleaning: Cleaning at the professional is of course, the best choice and in case of nasty stains anyway the only proper way.

How to wash Alpaca Woolen Garments – Step by Step Guide | Yanantin Alpaca 

How to Dry Alpaca Wool Garments?

After the gentle washing in the Washing machine’s wool cycle or by hand, You need to dry your Alpaca Garment properly

Even though alpaca wool is relatively robust, lint and tiny knots can occur if you are too careless here. So now, to get your alpaca fashion “ready to go out” again, do the following:

  1. Wrap the garments with a towel and carefully squeeze the wetness out of them – avoid too much pressure!
  2. Afterward – very important! – Do not hang them on the clothesline, but dry them lying down. The reason: especially with sweaters, this is important to keep the shape. When hanging up, the alpaca sweater likes to “dent.” And that isn’t easy to straighten again.

Alpaca wool has no business in the dryer, as the garments will shrink and thus be ruined. Also, do not expose them to direct sunlight when drying.

How to handle stains in Alpaca Garments?

How to wash Alpaca Wool
You need to be very conscientious about stains when cleaning your Alpaca Garment. Do not try to pre-heat resistant stains as this can damage the fabric. You can get rid of resistant stains by applying some shampoo to it and machine washing it.

It is not possible to use high-temperature settings for machine washing or very hot water for handwashing – but these are necessary to loosen particularly strong stains. Therefore, in the case of persistent stains: Leave the cleaning to a professional.

Pilling Tips – Alpaca Lint

High-Quality Alpaca Fabric is usually not very prone to pilling.

If really some pills occur, you can easily remove them using a cashmere comb or garment bristle brush — never use a razor or scissors as you’ll damage the fine Alpaca fibers and make it worse.

Storage Tips for Alpaca Garments

After drying, the next step is storage – you should be especially careful of moths: The voracious little critters love alpaca wool.

Here are some fantastic tips to help you ensure that your Alpaca Garment is in excellent condition until you’re ready to rock it again.

You should take certain precautions on your storage space before you pack up your precious alpaca items for the season. First, you need to make sure the place is dusted thoroughly and disinfected. Then, air it out and make sure it is completely dry.

Make sure your Alpaca Garments have enough room to breathe. A good example is a Cotton Garment Bag with enough room for airflow to prevent condensation.

You can also place some acid-free tissue papers between the folded layers as added protection to prevent unnecessary pressure on the clothes. 

Ensure the storage space is not facing direct sunlight or heat, which means a solid closet door that is not under a vent.

Lastly, make sure your alpaca garments are stored with natural moth repellents such as lavender sachets and cedar balls- don’t forget to keep them replenished every month or two. 

Though the repellents are more effective when they’re closer to the garments, it is not advisable to allow lavender or cedar to have direct contact with your alpaca fabric. You can prevent the oils from staining your Alpaca cloth by demarcating them with cotton cloths or a layer of tissue.

The process of caring for your alpaca clothing items may require some additional effort and investments. Still, the fact that it helps you maintain and keep your luxury items intact is definitely motivation to continue.

How to prevent Moth Infestation on your Alpaca Clothes

Clothing Moths sticking to a pheromone trap

Clothing Moths sticking to a pheromone trap

The level of damage caused by cloth moths can never be overemphasized. It doesn’t take much for this pest to cause severe damage to your clothes. Fabrics are more prone to infestations during the off-season, which is why popular winter wears like sweaters and Alpaca scarves are always in danger from cloth moths during the warm months of summer.

The major attraction for clothes moths is the protein in the skin cells, and remnant body oils shed when those garments are worn. To avoid this, you need to make sure your Alpaca Garments are appropriately cleaned before storage to prevent any form of moth infestation.

Furthermore, clothes moths thrive more in damp, dark recesses, which is why you need to air out your stored garments from time to time, whether or not you intend to wear them. You can prevent pest infestation by airing and exposing your alpaca garments to gentle light.

There are some old trade secrets that you can try to protect your alpaca garments from pest infestation. Cedar oils, lavender and cloves have been known to prevent moth infestation on clothes. Though cedar oil destroys eggs, it cannot, however, kill grown moths or larvae.

The same thing applies to other natural remedies, as they can only deter but cannot destroy adult moths, larvae or eggs.

Though incredibly effective, some people might want to avoid pesticides and chemical-based fumigants because they’re allergic to the ingredients or sensitive to the smell. In this case, the best solution to moth infestation could be moth traps. Moth traps attract moths to their sticky traps using natural, non-toxic pheromones, which permanently trap them to their surface.

In light of the preceding, it is advisable to try out multiple products that can repel these pests at any stage, whether you’re facing a full-blown onslaught or the infestation is still at the early stage. After treating your storage space, make sure you wash and dry the garments before taking them back to storage.

With the right care, you should still enjoy your alpaca clothes for as long as possible.

When it comes to the care of garments made of alpaca wool, you should say goodbye to dealing with them in the same way as with “everyday” fabrics. Cleaning here must be a little more gentle – at the same time, of course, the optimal care includes proper drying and storage. Therefore, simply follow the tips mentioned so that you can enjoy your favorite alpaca piece for as long as possible.

Categories: Alpaca

Marco Heitner

Marco is the author and creator of the World’s-Finest-Wool.com and holds the "Wool Fibre Science" certification. He founded this website because of his love for nature, tradition and exquisite all-natural fibers like merino wool, cashmere, and alpaca. The way local communities interact with their environment and produce valuable, irreplaceable natural resources such as wool is inspiring.

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