Alpaca has unique hollow fibres that have higher insulating properties than any other wool. The fibre has a low "prickle factor" which means that it can be worn by babies and people with sensitive skins. It naturally repels bacteria and odour so socks can be worn for a week without the need to wash. Embrace the arrival of long-life socks!
We have found that alpaca socks and knitwear wash beautifully and there is no shrinkage at all, ever. We have socks that have been worn and washed for five years and they are still perfect.
It is not heat that will ruin your alpaca goods but agitation, this is why it is imperative to do them on a wool cycle only in your machine - or hand wash of course.