By: Alicia Fischer, Communications @ Our Hands For Hope
Alpaca can be a bit intimidating to take care of, especially if you’re new to the fabric. But not to worry! It’s very easy to take care of your knits so that they retain their shape, softness, and look new after every wash.
Follow these tips for fool-proof ways to hand wash, dry clean, and store your new alpaca knit.
Start with a clean sink filled with luke-warm water, about 80-85 degrees. Add a mild soap to the water (NEVER use chlorine bleach or Woolite, as these have a whitening base. Fragrance-free baby shampoos are perfect).
Use the soap or shampoo to create bubbly suds.
Swish your alpaca knit in the soapy water, careful not to pull, snag, or agitate it.
Soak for two to three minutes.
Rinse in luke-warm water.
(Other water temperatures could cause the knit to shrink or sag).
Remove any excess water by placing your item on a towel and gently blotting and rolling.
Avoid tightly wringing or twisting.
Dry the item in a flat position and out of direct sunlight. Reshape to its original dimensions.
If you’re nervous about washing your knit yourself, you can take it to get dry cleaned. However, be sure to use a dry cleaner that is experienced in cleaning alpaca. Always show them any spots or stains, and ask them to use a fresh solvent in low heat with a process that does not involve tumbling.
Storage & Preservation
In order to get the best use out of your alpaca knitwear and to give it a long life, make sure that your items are completely dry upon storing. To prevent moths from going after alpaca, store your pieces in a sealed cedar chest, freezer (in a zip-lock bag — also kills any smells!), a plastic bin, or other moth-protected environment. Using mothballs with your knits is not recommended.*