How to care for alpaca knitwear
Handwashing is the safest way to wash alpaca garments. You can also dry-clean the clothes occasionally, but solvents and enzyme-containing detergents will degrade the fibre over time.
Wash the light and dark garments separately, as dark coloured ones often contain an excess of dye that can pass on to the light clothes.
To handwash your alpaca clothes, fill up the sink or a washbasin with 30°C water, then add a fine wool detergent. Only use detergents that are specifically made for washing delicate woolens and other fine fibers.
Gently agitate the water with your hands to evenly distribute soap. This is the time when you also check that the water is just the right temperature.
Submerge the garment gently and soak for up to 30 minutes. Do not bleach.
Rinse well by running 30°C water through the item until the water is no longer soapy or coloured with excess dye.
Drain the water by applying gentle pressure. Never wring or twist the garment.
Dry and Finish
Dry the clothing by lying it on a flat surface, preferably on top of a dry towel, away from direct heat and sunlight.
Expedite drying by covering it with another towel and applying gentle pressure to absorb all excess water. You can also roll it up inside the towel while pressing gently, then return to the flat position. If the towel is too moist at this point, replace it with a new dry one.
After a few hours, turn the garment on the other side until completely dry.
All Clara London knitwear is made with untreated, natural 100% alpaca wool. When wet, the garments will eliminate a slightly 'wet animal' smell, but don't worry. This is totally normal, and will disappear when the garment is dry.
Never hang woolens (either wet or dry) on washing lines or on hangers.
To remove wrinkles, we recommend using only a warm iron. Cover the garment with a protective cotton cloth (or towel) while ironing gently.
The more a knitted garment is worn, asa a result of friction, the wool fibre forms little balls (or bobbles, or pills). You can easily remove these pills with an electric de-pill machine, such as the one in the image below. You can find them at accessible prices on Amazon, or other similar stores in the electrical department.
Use this de-pill when needed, and only in the affected areas, such as underarm, borders or sleeves. Do not use the de-pill machine on the whole garment, as this will unnecessary trim all the natural soft fibers covering the item.
Knit items should be kept flat or folded inside the wardrobe to prevent stretching or distorting. You can prevent bug and moth infestation by storing the garments in breathable canvas storage bags.
Disclaimer: All techniques are presented above are based on textile science, as well as our own personal use of garments. Not all garments perform and react the same way, or as science would predict.