While Alpaca wool is one of the most durable types of wool, regular care is essential to keeping it in a good condition for longer. Cleaning Alpaca fur is not rocket science, but there are some aspects you have to consider to prevent damaging the fabric. Take a look below at the best ways of cleaning Alpaca fur.
If you asked an expert “how to clean Alpaca fur?”, most probably he would recommend you hand-washing in the first place. While machine-washing is also allowed, you should turn to it moderately, as it is a harsher method. Letting your hands treat the Alpaca sweater entails lower risks for its integrity, shape and color. At the same time, hand-washing proves highly effective at ridding your clothing item of dirt and stains.
Before you start, wear a pair of gloves if you have nails or jewelry on your hands. It is done to make sure you don’t damage the wool while cleaning it. Use warm water with the temperature 10-20 degrees Celsius to wash the Alpaca sweater. Add some mild soap to enhance the cleaning power. While rubbing the wool in your hands is welcome, avoid forceful rubbing.
After washing, do not twist or wring the sweater, as it can stretch the fabric out and deshape it for good. The safest option is to use dry towels. Lay the soaking wet sweater on a towel and roll it up. Press to make the moisture pass from the sweater to the towel easily. Once the towel gets wet, take another one and repeat the procedure.
Machine-washing the Alpaca item daily is the shortest way to damaging it irreparably, because the drum’s fast rotation stretches out the wool. To minimize this effect, place the sweater in the machine only in emergency situations, either when it has a stubborn stain or you don’t have time for hand-washing. And if you decided to use the washer, there are some strict rules for you to follow to reduce the fabric damage.
So, how to clean Alpaca fur in the washing machine? Use only cold water to minimize stretching as much as possible. Select the gentle cycle to provide for a slower rotation and less friction. Before throwing the Alpaca sweater into the washing machine, place it in a tied pillowcase to reduce the impact of the machine forces. If your Alpaca item gets stained regularly, avoid machine-washing it too often. Dry cleaning is the best method in this case to get the tough stains off.
Drying Alpaca items also requires much care and caution, consisting of two steps. The first step is absorbing excess moisture from the fur using one or more dry towels. Once the item gets slightly wet, it’s time to let it air-dry. Place a towel on a flat surface. Lay the sweater on the towel and allow it dry naturally. Ideally, the flat surface should be located outdoors.
Hanging Alpaca clothes on a washing line is not recommended, because it can stretch them out. You can place the sweater on a chair back or porch railing, as they are thicker than clothing line and distribute the weight of the item better. Make sure, the rail doesn’t have debris, rain water or bird poop on it before placing the sweater. Do not use any artificial drying devices, as they will harm the Alpaca fur.
How to deodorize Alpaca fur?
If you want to hear a good news about Alpaca fur, take this one. Alpaca items don’t retain smells, which means you don’t need baking soda and vinegar mixtures or commercial deodorizers to fight odors off. If any smell adheres to the fabric, be sure, washing the it in soapy water or aerating it for a few hours will be enough to drive the scent out.
How to make the Alpaca fibers more resistant?
If you are afraid of possible fiber breakage during laundry, there is one trick you can try to make your Alpaca garment more resistant. Place the garment in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. The fibers will tighten under the low temperatures, becoming less vulnerable to breakage and piling.
Boldly throw the sweater into the washing machine afterwards and let it do the clean for you. You can actually try the refrigerator trick when the sweater is too large on you as well. The fiber tightening caused by the thermal shock will make it fit you perfectly.
How to store Alpaca clothes?
Those wondering how to clean Alpaca fur may also want to know how to store Alpaca items. Wool clothes are not a good choice for summer. That’s why, you will have to find a place to store them until the next cold season. Fold the sweater and place it into an airtight bag. Storing the Alpaca garment in the wardrobe is a good choice as long as you treat the bag with moth repellent to ensure these insects don’t take your sweater by assault.
Also, don’t place any other clothes over the Alpaca sweater, as the pressure can cause wrinkles on it and make it lose its initial shape. Keep in mind that it’s incredibly hard to iron an Alpaca garment. Sometimes it is impossible to remove the crease if it has deeply set into the fabric. That’s why, avoid ironing by piling nothing on the Alpaca garment when storing it over summer.
To sum up
It’s well known, cleaning any type of wool is a tricky task, and Alpaca wool is not exception. You are best off cleaning it by hand, as it is safer for the garment’s shape and integrity. Use mild soap to guarantee all dirt disappears from the fabric. Although not recommended to use on frequent basis, washing machine can be an option for removing tough stains from your Alpaca sweater. Make sure to choose the delicate cycle to expose the fibers to lower pressure. There are some rules to follow during drying as well. Never twist or wring the Alpaca clothes, as it leads to their stretching and shape loss. It’s safest to use the 2-step drying process described above.