The Unique Practicalities of Alpaca Fleece
There are lots of astonishing natural fibers in the world, but none quite like Alpaca Fiber. Watch the following video that tells you the Story of Alpaca Wool from Peru as a short introduction. Read a more detailed overview regarding the unique practicalities of alpaca fiber down below.
1. WarmthAlpaca wool retains heat while at the same time trapping air in, which keeps the wearer warm throughout even the toughest circumstances. This heat retainment trait is brought about by the alpacas' fiber, which contains microscopic air pockets. The insulating aspect of alpaca wool is caused by these air pockets. Also, air pockets make for a highly breathable trait and is used in high temperatures.
The lightweight nature and natural fluff of alpaca wool results in easier management of the Alpaca Fiber during processing, shipping, and use in every day life. Microscopic air pockets in the fibers reduce the overall weight, which makes the alpaca wool as light as a feather. Alpaca Fibers are a mere 1/3rd of the weight of wool, making it the ideal durable resource for our Alpaca Scarves and Alpaca Throws.
3. StrengthEven though alpaca fiber is fine, lightweight, smooth, and gives alpacas their incredibly cute look, they make for one of the toughest animals around. Their thick coat of alpaca fleece enables them to thrive in the harsh Andean winters. Enduring these extreme climates throughout the millennia has resulted in the wool being extremely durable and easily outlasting other luxury fibers, including other wools, cashmere, and silk.
Although alpaca fleece is a rather scarce type of wool, one of its characteristics makes it available to all. Completely lacking lanolin, a wax or oil in sheep's wool which some unlucky people have an allergy to, opens up a door to this disadvantaged group to still enjoy wooly products. Alpaca fibers are uniquely designed and enjoy natural waterproofing. So, there's no need for alpacas to produce lanolin oil at all.
5. Low maintenance
The insulation cores and fine pores of alpaca fiber results in the fleece never looking old; a healthy natural gloss is maintained. Alpaca threads are designed to be water-resistant, which makes for increased stain resistance as well. The combination of such traits together with the fact that alpaca fibers do not mat or pill results in a 'foolproof' recipe for an alpaca toy that lasts decades.
Add microscopic air pockets to the equation and you'll understand that acquired odors from daily usage are resisted and will not stay in the fibers, as could be the case with other luxurious fibers. For a complete step-by-step guide, visit our Inkari Maintenance page.
Often described as soft, luxurious, soothing, comforting, and cloud-like, alpaca fleece in general, but Baby Alpaca Wool especially, is known for its incredibly soft to the touch feeling. The feeling of an alpaca product is unmatched by other wool types. Checking all your boxes of what a natural product should entail: soft, comfortable, durable, fairtrade, sustainable, cute, and hand-finished.
Alpacas are shorn in a cruelty-free manner every 12 to 18 months and can produce different tiers of quality alpaca wool. An adult alpaca can produce 7kg of fiber of which 3kg top tier-quality alpaca fiber. Also, an alpaca will produce second and third quality tiers of fiber, which can easily result in 4kg of lower tier quality as well. The rest of the alpaca fleece can be blended with other fibers to create woven textiles for clothing and accessories.
8. Color Shading
Over 16 distinctive natural colors occur within alpacas world wide, with an astonishing amount of 200 unique and amazing color tones. Traditional colors range from Ivory White to a bright Blond, rare Ruby, deep Amber, tasty Cacao, or a swirling Caramel. The superiority of alpaca fleece is confirmed in a practical and visual way. Want to know more about their colors and given names, even the Limited Editions? Check out our original Alpaca Toys for a complete overview!