Washing Alpaca Clothing and Accessories
For the first time in nearly 200 years (since the days of Sir Titus Salt), we’ve been able to manufacture alpaca knitwear and woven products in Britain on a scale and in a way that has not been seen before. This is a milestone we’re obviously very proud of but consequently, we realise that not many people are fully aware of how best to care for their alpaca garments. We therefore thought it wise to offer a little information here, on our Plum of London blog otherwise known as ‘Plum Life’, to explain how you can achieve the optimum lifespan of your alpaca clothing and accessories.
Washing Instructions: Alpaca is different, but in a very, very good way…
As already mentioned under the ‘Why Alpaca’ section on our website, all alpaca clothing and accessories require less cleaning than cashmere, merino and wool thanks to its many qualities and attributes.
– Alpaca does not contain lanolin (unlike cashmere, wool or merino), which is why our alpaca clothing is the perfect choice for babies and those with sensitive skin (people who can’t wear cashmere can wear alpaca!). This also means that our alpaca garments require less cleaning than products made using wool from goats and sheep.
– The nature of alpaca fibre reduces static electricity which in turn, reduces the amount of mites, dust and dirt which can be found in woollen products so thankfully, you won’t need to wash it as often as other knitwear and woven pieces!
– Have you ever found a piece of clothing which is resistant to stains? No, well, you have now! Alpaca boasts a quality that all parents and knitwear aficionados will be pleased to hear- it is impermeable to oils and will therefore look newer for longer.
– Thanks to its water resistant qualities, it is very unlikely that alpaca garments will ever shrink. In fact, industry experts claim that alpaca has a much lower tendency to shrink than cashmere, merino and wool.
You’ll be pleased to hear that our alpaca knitwear can be machine washed! We recommend washing it on a cool 30 degree cycle after which it can be hung dry. Although we expect the prospect of machine washing alpaca knitwear will be the most appealing, our knitted and woven
alpaca garments can of course be hand washed and dry-cleaned too. If you prefer employing the latter, we advise using a mild, chemical free detergent, after all, we wouldn’t want you to counteract the incredible ethical and eco-friendly qualities that alpaca clothing offers!
We recommend professionally dry cleaning our garments made of pure woven alpaca.
Keeping Your Alpaca Free From Moths
As incredibly amazing as alpaca is, like all natural fibres, unfortunately it is not immune to moths. There are a variety of ways to combat the threat of them but the most effective is to prevent their arrival in the first place.
– Preventative actions will always be preferred to a cure so with this in mind, keeping your wardrobes, cupboards and drawers clean will certainly help. Cleaning them out on a regular basis should become second nature.
– Always wash your clothes before putting them away. Food, sweat and even hair attract moths which makes it more likely for them to set up home in which to hatch their eggs.
Clothes which have been dry cleaned will deter moths as they dislike the smell. If you intend to store your alpaca clothing and accessories for an extended period of time, we’d advise storing them in a zip plastic bag and rest in a clean cupboard until you next choose to wear them.
– All moths want to do when they find a suitable place to hatch their eggs is to be left undisturbed in the dark for about 20 days. Much like vampires, they hate daylight and in fact, any light for that matter. For this reason, we’d recommend opening your cupboards every month to remove your clothing and shake each piece individually, ensuring that you turn them inside out to be sure that no moths remain. Ideally, airing your clothes in the full sun would be best as the natural light will repel the larvae.
– Traditional anti moth products also work well although fortunately the traditional moth balls which have been used by former generations have been replaced by those which offer a more amenable scent, at least to the human nose! This includes cedar, clove, rosemary and lavender products which come in a wide range of styles and shapes. Place these in your drawers or in your hangers to deter the moths.
– As surprising as it may sound, freezing out moths is a method that also works well. Enclose your alpaca product in a plastic bag, leave it in the freezer overnight and then allow it to defrost slowly.