Please follow these guidelines and you will enjoy your alpaca products for many years to come!
A cool handwash (30º) with a mild detergent such as Stergene or baby shampoo is recommended. Wash for no more than 5 minutes. Rinse in lukewarm water, always pressing, not wringing the fabric. Wrap the item in a clean dry towel to absorb excess moisture. Reshape as necessary and lay flat to dry. Do not hang your wet alpaca garment as it will stretch.
While it is possible to machine wash some of our alpaca garments on a 30º cool handwash cycle (i.e. a cycle which does not run for more than ¾ hours!), we cannot guarantee the result, because the make and condition of different washing machines varies too much! However, if you do wish to use this method for some of our smaller, less delicate items, turn the product inside out, fold it neatly and place in a small gauze laundry bag to avoid the item getting stretched and losing its shape. Use a mild detergent. On no account should you use a Tumble Drier, as this will shrink the product.
Items with Alpaca Fur and Lambskin
We recommend you use a wire pet brush to restore the fur. Day to day sweat and grime disappears with a good brushing and you will be impressed how easily your fur is restored. Avoid wearing perfume or hairspray if this might come into contact with your fur as the alcohol/chemical content can dry out the leather skin. Oils may also penetrate the fur and turn rancid.
For more serious cleaning or for when liquids have been spilt on the fur, spray with a dry shampoo or cover with talcum powder (yes, even the darker coloured fur!) and gently but deeply rub in. Leave for a few minutes, then brush it out thoroughly. This will lift residues and dirt from the hair shaft and restore the fluffiness of the fur.
For items like our fur rugs and cushions, you may prefer to get your fur/fleece product professionally cleaned by a furrier or fur cleaning specialist.
For our fur pom poms and items with small amounts of fur trim, a cool handwash (30º) with a mild detergent such as baby shampoo is possible, although we recommend that you concentrate on sponging the fur clean and avoid letting the leather skin become soaked. Reshape as necessary and wrap the item in a clean dry towel to absorb excess moisture. The item must then be left flat to dry slowly and naturally, away from any direct heat such as a radiator, or the skin will go stiff and crispy. Only wash the fur as infrequently as possible as over time it will deplete the natural oils.
Storing Alpaca and Avoiding Moths
The best way to store your alpaca (whether knitted or fur) is in a sealed, but breathable bag in a cool place. Never put it away dirty as perspiration, hair gel and food stains etc attract moths. To guard against moths in the knitted items, we recommend Cedar chips or balls as cedar oil is a known deterrent to moths, although do not store your fur with cedar oil as it can dry it out. Therefore, we recommend you store your fur in a very cold environment, but not in a freezer. Moths die when the temperature goes below 8º. Moths hate light and being disturbed. Their life cycle is about 21 days, so every month, we recommend you shake out your garment and leave in bright sun light. Larvae are strongly repelled by light, and will fall from clothing when they cannot find protection.
Alpaca improves with age. Our products will not always feel as soft and supple when new as they will with continued wear.