Alpaca fiber is a naturally an anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and odor-resistant fiber, so your alpaca items probably don’t need to be cleaned as often as you think.
Take note when washing your alpaca garment that agitation and heat shrink and destroy the fiber.
Hand-washing is the gentlest method of cleaning an alpaca garment, and will add years to the life of your alpaca clothing.
Here is a set of washing instructions to extend the life of your alpaca products.
- Fill a clean sink or tub with cold water and a small amount of mild liquid detergent like baby shampoo.
- Rinse the garment twice in clean, cold water and gently squeeze out the excess. Be gentle handling it to avoid wrinkles and distortion.
- Lay the garment between two towels, roll up the towels and set it aside for a few minutes.
- Place the garment on a dry towel and reshape (do not hang to dry).
- Let it dry away from sunlight and direct heat.
- If the garment is wrinkled after drying, you can steam it lightly.
- If you don’t have the time to hand-wash your alpaca garments, you can always take them to a professional dry-cleaner. Bring along any labels or care tags that came with the garment, and be sure to point out any spots and stains so they can use the best method to remove them.
How to store alpaca clothing
Alpaca clothing can last for decades, but its greatest enemies are moths and other pests that cause damage during storage.
If you need to put your alpaca away during warmer months, give it a good clean first following the instructions above.
To keep away moths, use lavender bundles (the chemical moth balls will do as well).
A shirt box, clean pillow case, clean paper bag, or cardboard box will keep the air circulating around the garment. Never use plastic or dry cleaning bags for your alpaca, as this will cause moisture to build up and the fibers will felt.
Alpaca clothing should be folded rather than hung to prevent stretching and distortion.