Washing an alpaca woolen garment is quite the task, but almost as important (and half of the job) is drying an alpaca woolen garment properly. And there’s actually a lot that can be done to prevent an alpaca woolen garment from shrinking, felting or fading.
So, you are probably wondering, what is the best way to dry alpaca woolen garments?
Always air-dry an alpaca woolen garment, laying flat in its original shape. Squeeze out excess water by rolling the garment between two dry towels. If a garment is still quite wet, put it to dry on a towel. Never dry alpaca woolen garments in a dryer, in the sun, or next to a source of heat.
The way you dry an alpaca woolen garment obviously depends on how wet it is, and what kind of garment it is. Let’s find out more!
Drying an Alpaca Woolen Garment: Step-By-Step
- Remove excess water by placing the alpaca woolen garment between two towels.
- Roll the towels with the piece in between and gently squeeze out the water.
- Make sure to put an alpaca woolen garment in its original shape.
- Replace the towels by dry ones and place them on a flat surface (alternatively, you could use a mesh screen). Place the alpaca woolen garment on top of the towel.
- Remove the towels after most of the water has been absorbed.
- Flip the garment if necessary.
- Always air-dry alpaca woolen garments.
- Never put alpaca woolen garments in a dryer.
- Never put alpaca woolen garments to dry in the sun.
- Never put alpaca woolen garments to dry next to a heater (or other direct source of heat).
- Never hang alpaca woolen garments to dry.
The more water you can remove from an alpaca woolen garment, the faster it will dry. This is best done by placing an alpaca woolen garment between two towels and gently rolling up the towels and gently squeezing out the water.
While doing this, it is important not to stretch or pull the alpaca woolen garment, as this can cause it to lose its shape.
Watch Me Dry My Alpaca Woolen Garment
If you’re more of a visual kind of person, check out my YouTube video below, in which I share with you how you can dry an alpaca woolen garment the proper way.
What to Avoid When Drying Alpaca Wool
What you should do when drying an alpaca woolen garment is almost as important as what you shouldn’t do. In short you want to prevent an alpaca woolen garment from shrinking, felting and losing its shape and/or color.
Here’s a list of things to avoid when drying an alpaca woolen garment.
Can You Put An Alpaca Woolen Garment in a Dryer?
An alpaca woolen garment should never be put in a dryer. Putting an alpaca woolen garment in a dryer can cause it to felt, shrink or lose its color.
Alpaca wool does not respond well to friction, and in combination with heat and water, it is very likely that drying your alpaca woolen garment in a dryer will damage the fiber.
Can You Put An Alpaca Woolen Garment to Dry in the Sun?
You should never put an alpaca woolen garment to dry in the sun. The sun is a direct source of heat, and when alpaca woolen garments are exposed to sun rays for a longer period of time, they can cause the fiber to become brittle and/or lose their color.
Can You Put An Alpaca Woolen Garment to Dry on a Heater?
An alpaca woolen garment should never be put on a heater to dry. While it might be tempting to place an alpaca woolen garment on (or close to) a heater (or other direct source of heat), it is very likely that the alpaca fiber gets damaged when it is exposed to heat directly.
When the alpaca fiber is damaged it can cause your garment to start felting, shrinking or lose its shape and/or color.
Can You Hang An Alpaca Woolen Garment to Dry?
An alpaca woolen garment should never be hung to dry. The weight of the water (and of the garment itself, too) will cause gravity to pull it down, which in turn causes the garment to lose its shape.
An alpaca woolen garment should therefore always be put to dry laying flat, on a flat surface.
Do you feel discouraged to dry an alpaca woolen garment? Don’t worry! Alpaca wool is actually pretty water resistant, which means that it won’t get wet quickly.
- Read more about it in one of my other articles: Is Alpaca Wool Waterproof?
How Long Does It Take For an Alpaca Woolen Garment to Dry?
A thick knitted sweater will take up to 48 hours to dry, while socks can take 5-6 hours.
How long it takes for an alpaca woolen garment to dry, depends on the thickness of the fiber, the thickness and technique that is used for the garment (woven textiles generally take more time to dry, thicker garments take more time to dry), and of course, on how wet the garment is.
An alpaca woolen garment that has been washed is generally the “wettest” you will find an alpaca woolen garment, so assuming that the garment is really wet, take the following times in mind.
|Garment||Time to dry|
How Can You Make an Alpaca Woolen Garment Dry Faster?
The best way to dry an alpaca woolen garment as fast as possible, is by making sure that as much water as possible is removed before putting it to dry. A mesh screen helps an alpaca woolen garment to dry from both sides at the same time, which will speed up the process.
While it might be tempting to put an alpaca woolen garment to dry in the sun, next to a source of heat, or in a dryer will to speed up the process, it is very likely that it will also cause your alpaca woolen garments to shrink, felt, and/or lose its color or shape.
It is therefore recommended to let an alpaca woolen garment air dry – be patient and plan your washing session accordingly!
Drying an Alpaca Woolen Garment That Is Damp From Steaming
When an alpaca woolen garment is just damp – like right after steaming it, for example – you only need to let it sit for 5 minutes. Check if the garment is completely dry before you store it.
Drying an Alpaca Woolen Garment That Is Damp From Light Rain
When you wear an alpaca woolen garment in the rain, it is important that you wipe off the rain drops as soon as possible. Given the alpaca woolen garment a good shake should get rid of a large part of the rain drops.
After that, you should let an alpaca woolen garment dry properly before storing it.
- Check out my other article about if you can wear alpaca wool in the rain: Can You Wear Alpaca Wool in the Rain?
Drying an Alpaca Woolen Garment That Is Wet From Heavy Rain
If you’ve been caught in a heavy downpour or really bad weather, you will need to properly dry the alpaca woolen garment as soon as you’re home (and dry).
Again, wiping and shaking off the rain drops as soon as possible is important, as this can prevent the fiber from absorbing more water.
If the garment is very wet, you can consider squeezing out the water using two dry towels. Place the garment on top of a dry towel to dry, making sure it is flat and put in its original shape.
Check to make sure the alpaca woolen garment is completely dry before storing it.
Drying an Alpaca Woolen Garment That Is Soaked After Washing
An alpaca woolen garment that is washed will have absorbed more water than in any other scenario (unless you’ve been swimming with it – which is not recommended). In this case, you need to make sure that you remove as much water before drying it.
The more water you can remove before drying the alpaca woolen garment, the faster it will dry.
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Ready for one of those water-wicking garments yourself? Check out my Webshop! I sell products made of 100% alpaca wool that are also made to empower women in Bolivia! Click the image to check out the sustainable, timeless collection for yourself!