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Thursday, March 5, 2020

Alpaca APPAREL CARE. (LaCroix Alpacas)

Tender loving care!

Tender loving care!

How to Wash, Dry, and Store Alpaca Apparel.

With proper care, your alpaca apparel will provide you with years of luxurious warmth and comfort and even become treasured heirlooms! It only requires a little knowledge.

Any animal-fiber garment, including alpaca, can be washed with a regular laundry detergent in a washing machine as long as there is no agitation at all. However, because felting can occur even during the spin cycle, machine washing isn’t recommended for any items larger than SOCKS.
General rules:
The finer the natural fiber and the higher the fiber content, the less handling [i.e., washing & drying] it will tolerate before felting occurs.
Structured coats and jackets and finely woven or intricately detailed garments should be dry cleaned.
Cleaning before storage is recommended because fresh stains that might not yet be visible might oxidize and become fixed during storage. 

A temperature variation between wash and rinse waters is the most common cause of shrinkage in alpaca apparel so be careful that the wash and rinse temperatures are the same. At 100º to 105º Fahrenheit, lukewarm water is best and hot or cold water are to be avoided.

Not all soaps are recommended. Mild shampoos [e.g., baby soaps] without fragrances or conditioners are best. These products are designed to gently clean hair fibers, which is exactly what alpaca fiber is!
General rule:
Do not use Woolite®. Even the “gentle” version might be too harsh for fine apparel.

Very, very gently swish the apparel in soapy, lukewarm water in a clean sink and then allow the soapy apparel to rest in the sink for several minutes [2-3]. Leave the apparel in the sink while draining and then close the drain.
Rinse by pouring the same temperature lukewarm water into the sink and then very, very gently swishing the apparel, handling it as little as is possible. Drain the water, leaving the apparel in the sink to drain further for several minutes [5-10]. Repeat the rinsing process, if necessary, and then gently squeeze just enough water out of the apparel so that it doesn’t soak the floor when being transferred to a towel.

Gently spread the apparel out on a fresh, dry towel and gently roll the towel up without squeezing or pressing. Leave the apparel in the towel for several minutes [5-10].
Transfer the apparel to a fresh, dry towel and allow it to air-dry flat, turning the apparel over and placing it on a fresh, dry towel every few hours until dry.
SWEATER DRYING RACK: An alternate to using towels is a sweater drying rack. Sweater drying racks are inexpensive and provide air flow around the entire garment for quicker drying times and much less work!

Although not as susceptible to moth infestations as is wool, alpaca apparel should be carefully stored in a sealed cedar container or another moth-protected environment, especially during the summer months.