South America Imports offers alpaca blankets, alpaca rugs, alpaca scarves, alpaca gloves, alpaca shawls, alpaca sweaters, alpaca yarn, alpaca purses, alpaca pillows, alpaca fur coats, alpaca capes, alpaca bears, alpaca products, Alpaca Wear.
Telephone (817) 230-4524 • Welcome to South America Imports • 4/25/2014

Alpaca Fiber & Care [Hand washing] [Machine washing]
[Dry Cleaning] [Why buy Alpaca] [The Alpaca]

Care instructions

Before you begin, read the care label attached to the garment and any hang tags or care instructions included in garment packaging. When hand washing is advised, we recommend using the following method:

  • Gently hand wash in cool water (up to 85*F / 196*C) with shampoo or a mild soap. Never use chlorine bleach.
  • Gently press to remove excess water. Do not wring or twist: handle gently to avoid wrinkles and distortion.
  • Dry flat (lay out horizontally for drying).
  • Block to dry (reshape to original dimensions while drying).
  • Smooth by hand while wet to remove wrinkles and straighten the seams and facings.
  • Touch up with a cool iron (lowest temperature setting) as needed.
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When machine washing is advised, we recommend the following method:

  • Machine wash in cool water (up to 85*F / 196*C) with shampoo or a mild soap on delicate cycle. Never use chlorine bleach.
  • Hang to dry or dry flat (lay out horizontally for drying).
  • Touch up with a cool iron (lowest temperature setting) as needed.
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When dry cleaning is advised, we recommend the following:

  • Seek out a reputable cleaner that is a member of the International Fabricare Institute.
  • Bring with you any labels or hang tags that contain fiber information or care instructions.
  • Outfits with several pieces should be cleaned at the same time to avoid any color discrepancies resulting from cleaning.
  • Inform the cleaner of any spots or stains, they will want to treat some stains before the dry cleaning process.
  • We recommend that you request the cleaner use fresh or filtered solvent, and a dry cleaning process that does not involve tumbling of the garment and uses low heat (140*F / 306*C) drying.
  • Knits that have shrunk from the dry cleaning process can be “blocked” (reshaped to original dimensions) by the cleaner. Request this service, if needed.
  • Your cleaner may also provide mothproofing. Request this service, if needed.
  • Some wool may show pilling (the appearance of tiny balls on the fabric surface). Dry cleaning may increase their number but your cleaner should remove them as part of the finishing process.
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Why buy Alpaca?

Alpaca is a natural fiber of superior fineness and strength. It has a luxurious, soft handle, and is more durable and warmer than cashmere, wool and many other natural fibers. Alpaca is light weight, naturally lustrous, and more comfortable to wear against the skin than sheep's wool. Alpaca can have virtually no prickle effect with diminishing micron fineness and lack of guard hair. Alpaca is hypoallergenic due to the lack of lanolin, is easy to clean and retains warmth even when wet, making it perfect for outdoor activities.
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The Alpaca

The charismatic alpaca is a wonderfully gentle, intelligent, and curious animal. The alpaca is a member of the Camelid family which also includes the llama and the wild vicuna and guanaco. Native to the high Andes plateaus of Peru, Chile, and Bolivia, they have been imported to the U.S. since 1984. Ancient petroglyphs in Peru dated at over 4,000 years old show herds of alpacas being tended by their Peruvian herders.

Unlike the llama, which is used primarily as a pack animal, the alpaca is raised for its luxurious fine fiber. Alpaca fiber is soft yet durable and comes in a variety of colors; the worldwide market recognizes 22 natural colors of alpaca, from pure white through fawn, to a range of browns, and a true jet black.

The alpaca itself is a small and endearing animal, weighing between 120 and 175 pounds. Their diet consists largely of pasture, and/or hay, and fresh water. Alpaca ownership is full of rewards and advantages.

There are two different breeds of alpacas: Huacaya and Suri. The more common Huacaya have full, fluffy, crimped fleeces and are known for their cute "Teddy Bear look". The unique rare Suri alpaca has long silky lustrous locks which hang downward creating a draped elegant appearance. Suri fiber is prized and commands higher prices in the world markets because of it's luster and fine hand. Both Suri and Huacaya fiber are used throughout the world for the very warmest and finest quality garments. Alpaca fiber does not contain lanolin or any other oily body secretion. It can be worn by persons allergic to wool. Alpacas, when placed in a show ring, do not require grooming. Their fiber is simply picked clean. There are approximately 12,000 registered alpacas in the entire United States, of which, the rare suri number only 2,000.
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