How to Care Alpaca Clothes

How to Care Alpaca Clothes

The appeal of alpaca material is found in its soft, fluffy and smooth feel and texture. Its lustrous and durable fiber is used for fine quality coats and sweaters. The basics for keeping the garment in its finest condition for a long time is home care by brushing and steaming. You can keep it from deteriorating by regular care such as brushing off dust and applying a steamer after wearing it.


Dry cleaning is also possible depending on the item, however, this should be avoided as much as possible. Cleaning methods employing special solvents such as petroleum in order to remove stains may take away the oil content of the fiber, so there is a risk of spoiling the moist texture peculiar to alpaca. One way to care for the collar and sleeves where stains are especially conspicuous is to devise ways of styling so as not to allow your skin to directly come in contact with them.

Check the Proper Way to Care for Alpaca Material Coats video


Stain remover

THE LAUNDRESS stain solution uses only 100% environmentally friendly vegetable-based material that biodegrades naturally when rinsed in water. It also works on removing tough stains like wine and tea.


・Detergent for fine and delicate clothes

Detergents in general are alkalescent, but detergents for fine and delicate clothing are neutral. They are used for washing delicate materials like animal fiber and silk. The LIVRE YOKOHAMA delicate fiber detergent for silk and wool is also appealing for its nice fragrance.


・Clothes Brush

A horsehair brush which is soft and moderately elastic would be ideal. While animal fibers like alpaca become positively charged, plastic and polyester bristle brushes become negatively charged. The latter types are likely to cause static electricity, attracting dust onto the coat surface rather than removing it. Therefore, it is better to choose an animal fiber brush.



Choose a type which doesn’t let out so much steam as to cause water to drip and stains to develop. SteamOne made in France will surely blend in with your interior furniture with its stylish design.


*Towel (or Cloth)

An ideal type would be a material which thoroughly absorbs water and stains that are brought to the surface with the detergent, as well as being resistant to shedding fiber.

Tip 1 Visually check your clothes

Take a good look all over your clothes to see where the stains and dirt are. Decide which spots you need to take care of. Major points to check for are general stains, stains from spilled food, and scratches. Carefully check the collars, pockets, and behind the hems and sleeves.

Daily brushing becomes very important to quickly notice whether you can deal with the stain yourself at home or if you need to get professional help. It is ideal to brush fine quality outer clothes and sweaters each time you wear them. If that is difficult, try to brush your clothing at least once after wearing it two or three times.

Tip 2 Remove dust by brushing

First, remove dust from the entire piece of clothing before removing any partial stains. The rule for brushing is to dust from top to bottom, keeping in mind to let the dust fall downward. Snap your wrist to brush the dust out from the front and back sides of the collar, arms and body.

Take particular care from the collar down to the shoulders, since dust easily attaches there and this area frequently rubs against your skin or handbag a lot. The key point to brushing here is to disentangle the pilling. If it is difficult to do this with the clothing on the hanger, put it on an ironing board or the like.

You might want to use an adhesive cleaner when dusting, but caution is necessary when doing so on alpaca material. The texture of the material might change if you apply force or use an adhesive agent. When dust cannot be removed by brushing, gently pick it off with your fingers.

Tip 3 Handwash with a tightly squeeze-dried towel

Take particular care of collars and the back sides of underarms. For water-soluble stains like sweat and alcohol, use a tightly squeeze-dried towel (or cloth) to wash by hand.

For oil-based stains like food or sebum, drip some delicate wash detergent or stain remover directly onto the well dampened cloth, and hand-wash with a tightly squeeze-dried towel. If the stain is minor, hand-washing with a towel soaked with detergent diluted in water is fine. In either case, be sure to place a towel on the reverse side of the clothing to keep the stain from transferring elsewhere. When the stain is removed, wet and squeeze-dry a towel to wipe off the detergent.

Since animal fiber is vulnerable when wet, completely dry it naturally or with a hair dryer after cleaning with detergent. This partial washing is preferable for sweat and sticky stains often found on coat linings.

Tip 4 Smooth out wrinkles with a steamer

Apply a steamer on the front and back sides of the coat on a hanger. The aim is to smooth out wrinkles, deodorize, and disinfect.

First, move the steamer slowly up and down, keeping it about one centimeter away from the material, moving from the outer side of body to the sleeves and hems, which are easily wrinkled, while gently holding onto the tips of the clothing. Apply steam generously on the inner lining as well to suppress bacterial growth from odors and mustiness.

The hairs of the fiber will rise after being dampened by a steamer as they return to their natural state, giving a pleasant feel to the touch. With raised brush fabric in particular, regular brushing and steamer care are recommended even when there are no noticeable stains, so that you can directly enjoy that restored fluffy texture.

Tip 5 Straighten out the wool by brushing

Finish by straightening out the wool by brushing. Since the dust has already been removed at this stage, brush with lengthy strokes along the joints, from the collar down to the body, and from the shoulders to the sleeves.

The most important thing to note is never to brush while the clothing is still wet. The fiber is vulnerable then, so wait until the clothing is completely dry. This applies not only for use of a steamer but also when brushing coats wet from rain.

Q&A What to do with stains on the sleeves or collars?

Try to devise your styling to avoid direct contact with your skin. If you can keep the collars and sleeves from getting stained, care with only brushing and a steamer is possible.

Wear turtlenecks or scarves around your neck. It would be best to wear gloves around your sleeves, but if that is difficult, rolling up the sleeves a little is fine.

If you can free yourself from the idea that “something that can’t be washed in the washer has to be taken to the dry cleaners,” you’ll find that most clothing can be taken care of at home.