7 Reasons to Love Alpaca Wool
When the temperature drops, alpaca wool is your new best friend. Warm, soft and robust, it will comfort you, keep you dry, and make the blistering cold of winter days more bearable. Discover the fibre’s numerous qualities and why it should be your go-to.
A high-quality fibre
This precious fibre has been loved and appreciated for thousands of years, because of its properties; lightweight, warm and versatile. A gift from the gods, as they called it, was reserved for royalty. Today, the craze for this high-end material continues across Peru and beyond!
Over time, the art of working this wool has been perfected. Gathered by thousands of breeding families in the Andes, it is sorted manually by hundreds of master craftsmen who follow ancestral techniques, obtaining a great variety of thicknesses and colours. At SOL ALPACA, we use only the softest, most refined wool for our collections: Baby Alpaca, Baby Suri and Super Baby Alpaca.
Ideal for cold weather
Who doesn’t want warm feet during winter? Alpaca wool is a great thermal insulator, it effectively absorbs moisture, leaving your toes warm and dry.
If you are like me, you constantly get small electric shocks during the cold season from the lack of moisture in the air due to indoor heating: the alpaca fibre eliminates the accumulation of static electricity. Which means no more shocks!
Known for its radiance
Alpaca wool is made up of about thirty natural colours (thirty-two to be precise). In reality, fibre mixtures can produce an infinite number of colours. We also like the lustre and natural shine of our friendly camelid’s coat, which lends a beautiful appearance and a sublime texture even after it’s been dyed.
Gentle on sensitive skin
This fibre is gentle on sensitive skin prone to redness. Since it’s hypoallergenic, it doesn't sting or itch, because unlike other types of wool, the lanolin used - a kind of wax that protects wool to make it waterproof, is often responsible for allergic reactions - is not present in alpaca.
The diameter of the fibre is also a factor in the skin’s reaction to wool. The thicker it is, the more the wool will itch, and vice versa. The diameter of the alpaca fibre varies between 12 and 32 microns, while wool from a sheep can reach 80 microns!
Alpaca fibre is soft and delicate to the touch, furthermore the level of softness depends on the age of the animal. You won't be surprised to learn that a baby alpaca's coat is softer than when it’s full grown.
A green alternative
Raised in the wild, the alpaca produces very little greenhouse gases (it eats very little and its digestion is very efficient) and does not uproot the plants it feeds on.
It does not damage the ground it walks on, because the bottom of its hooves have soft pads.
Its fibre is also eco-friendly since it doesn't require chemical treatment, and even less bleaching.
Finally, they are only shorn once a year; each animal producing about 2.5 kg of wool per year, which makes it a relatively rare material.
Easy to care for
It is certainly robust and resistant, but it still deserves to be treated with care. Best practices include: washing your garment gently by hand, in cold water. Another possible option: in the washing machine on delicate, with mild detergent or a special wool detergent (be mindful, you can’t use a softener). Lay flat on a towel in the shade to dry (No dryer!). It’s not too complicated, is it?
Let's compare: alpaca vs sheep and cashmere.
Unlike sheep, the coat of an alpaca does not contain oil (the fatty substance secreted by the skin of the sheep that mixes with its wool), so it loses very little weight in the wash during its transformation, which makes it up to three times stronger and seven times warmer than sheep wool.
And, remember what I mentioned above, sheep wool has a tendency to itch, whereas alpaca fibres don’t.
Let's move on to cashmere now. As we all know, it is a relatively expensive fabric that’s delicate to maintain. For the same quality, alpaca clothing is more accessible and washable. They are also more resistant to wear and tear over time, and do not break or pill.
Lastly, cashmere offers a moisture absorption rate of around 15% ... while wool alpaca absorbs maximum moisture.
Now, I hope you are convinced! Discover our collection!
Traduced from french by Jonelle Larouche