Many people are choosing alpaca in their garments and bedding for its warmth and comfort. It offers a lux feeling because it is very soft and silky. Now, it tends to outperform other fibres like synthetic blends, cashmere, and wool.
Because it is naturally hypoallergenic, containing no lanolin and other oils, a lot of people are buying alpaca quilts and blankets as their bedtime companion. Lanolin is a naturally produced oil by sheep, which causes irritation and sensitivities in people with allergies. As such, it doesn’t cause a scratchy or itchy sensation.
Another benefit is it is super strong and sturdy, so you are assured of the materials’ longevity and durability. Oil and grease will not easily cling onto alpaca compared to other fibres. Alpaca fibre is also environmentally friendly because no harsh chemicals are needed to process it as it doesn’t contain lanolin. If you invest in an alpaca quilt, here’s how you can properly care for it to ascertain that it lasts for a long time.
Step 1: Make sure you fill a clean sink or tub with cool water. Add a small amount of mild detergent. Even baby shampoo will work. For the best washing results, you can also opt to buy a fine fibre formulation. Hot water is a big no as it will shock the alpaca hair fibres. This will result in clumping and matting, making it feel like felt. Never use harsh chemicals like chlorine or bleach. This will only damage your quilt.
Step 2: Soak your alpaca quilt for three to five minutes. Gently run your hands through the suds. There is no need to twist, scrub, or wring the material. It will only agitate your blanket resulting in felting. If your quilt is dyed, the hot water will also increase the chances of a colour bleed. The results will look very unsightly. However, do take note that colour bleeding isn’t a problem with cool water. Alpaca fibres also take dyeing better than other materials, so this is a non-issue after the first wash.
Step 3: You must make sure to rinse your quilt twice in cold water. Gently blot out the excess liquid. Be very careful in handling to avoid material distortion and wrinkles. It would be best to lay your blanket between two towels to absorb the water.
Step 4: Lay your alpaca blanket to dry so it won’t be weighed down by the water weight. You need to find a space that’s big enough to accommodate the size of your quilt. You must ensure that it is away from direct heat and sunlight, as this can cause clumping!
Step 5: If you think that your blanket is too wrinkled after the drying stage is done, you can steam it with an iron. The steam will help ease away, and creases that you think looks unsightly.
Machine washing is not advisable as the movement can be too rough on the hair fibres. However, if you decide to use your washing machine, be sure to secure the blanket in a tied pillowcase or a delicates bag. Then set your washer in a cool, gentle cycle.
If you don’t have the time, inclination, or energy to handwash your alpaca product, you can always take it to a professional cleaner. Just be sure to point out any existing stains or problem spots so they can spot-treat and use the best methods to remove it. Follow these simple steps, and you can extend the life of your alpaca investment. Handwashing is the gentlest method of cleaning that will prolong its use, allowing you years of luxurious use.