Alpaca wool garments can last a lifetime or longer if cared for correctly, making them a great investment for your sustainable wardrobe. Natural dirt-repelling and antimicrobial qualities mean alpaca knits require less frequent washing, helping you reduce water and detergent use. We could go on for days about the incredible low-impact benefits of alpaca. That said, it is important to know how to care for and wash alpaca garments correctly to maintain their shape and lovely, cozy feel.
We partnered up with Celsious, a modern laundry in Brooklyn, New York that specializes in eco-friendly washing, to develop care instructions specifically for your alpaca knits so they can stay in your wardrobe and out of landfills.
Follow these simple steps to ensure the softness and longevity of your alpaca knit.
Inspect your knit for stains or pilling. For stains, use a natural soap stick to pre-treat the area. Pilling is a natural part of using high quality fibers in a knit. Your knit should not pill too much, but if it does, use a Sweater Pill Remover stone or wire brush to gently clean up any areas affected.
Always hand wash your knit in cool water as warm water can cause felting (and is more energy intensive). All you need is a small amount of mild wool detergent. If you don’t have wool detergent, a gentle shampoo also works great, too. Do not use chlorine bleach or Woolite as this can be harsh on your knit.
Care Tip: Do not use conventional detergents, which contain enzymes that break down food and other organic stains. Since wool is a protein fiber, standard detergents might attack the molecular structure of the wool and cause tears and holes.
Lightly massage the alpaca wool piece. Make sure not to twist, wring or agitate. Too much friction can damage alpaca fibers and cause shrinkage.
Rinse with clean, cool water. Be sure to gently squeeze and excess water out between two clean towels.
Lay your knit on a clean towel and reshape. Allow each piece to lay flat until dry. Do not tumble dry or hang dry, which can cause it to stretch out of shape.
Inspect and fold you knit (avoiding a center crease) and store with lavender bundles to keep moths away.
From choosing earth-friendly detergents to air-drying, hand washing and caring for your knits is a ritual that reminds you to slow down and appreciate your clothes. The Endery encourages you to embrace it in your laundry routine for all of your knits as a small but important stand against fast fashion. And, if you're in Brooklyn, bring your laundry to Celsious for a low-impact clean.