Alpaca wool is recognised as one of the most luxurious fibres in the world. It is exceptionally soft due to its low scale relief, compared to merino, giving alpaca a very soft and silky feeling. In comparison to merino, alpaca fibre is lighter, warmer and more durable.
Don’t be fooled by their cute, fuzzy and endearing faces – alpacas are tough. Having survived the harsh conditions in the Andes for thousands of years, alpacas and their fibre are suited to a wide range of extreme weather conditions – scorching hot in summer and freezing cold in winter. Their fibre, which contains hollow air pockets, keeps them warm and toasty in winter and cool in summer. They are naturally double glazed!
Those air pockets make alpaca yarn simply the best fibre in the world! There I said it! Alpaca yarn will keep you warm in winter and those hollow fibres give your finished shawl or cardigan breathability, keeping you cool in summer.
Just like the alpacas themselves who have lasted thousands of years in some of the harshest climates and weather extremes of the world, their fibre is also durable, if cared for correctly. Light hand washing in warm water with a wool wash is all that is needed to keep your alpaca garment looking its very best. Dry flat in the shade and sorted correctly – you will have your garment for many years to come!
Alpaca fibres have a higher tensile strength than wool fibres. Global testing of merino and alpaca fibre shows that alpaca fibre is stronger than merino, making alpaca very useful for everyday use products and garments. Strength and beauty? Falling more in love with alpaca every day.
Alpaca is considered hypoallergenic because it contains no lanolin. People who find merino itchy don’t have the same issue with alpaca. I can’t wear merino because of the itch factor but alpaca is not a problem which is probably a good thing considering I grow alpaca fibre!
Is alpaca truly a luxury fibre? Yes it. Warm, cool, strong, soft, silky and long wearing. What is not to love about alpaca?