Knitty Gritty: Alpaca
For our cozy collection this year, we decided to try something new and bring you six products made from the miracle fiber, alpaca, sourced directly from Peru.
Not only are alpacas ridiculously adorable, alpaca fleece is pretty magical.
Softer than cashmere? Impossible!
Alpaca fibers are measured in ‘microns’ - the lower the micron measurement, the softer the fleece. The micron measurement that rivals cashmere is between 16 and 18 and is classified as ‘Royal alpaca’, the highest grade on the market. The next highest grade is classified as 'superfine', which is a very close second in terms of softness and durability with a micron measurement between 18 and 20.
All of our alpaca products are woven from these two grades of alpaca so everything you order from this collection is guaranteed to be one of the softest things you'll ever own.
Warmer than wool? Whaaaa?
That’s right! Insulation works by trapping air in air pockets located within the fiber itself. The bigger the air pocket, the warmer the fiber keeps you.
Sheeps wool has tiny air pockets throughout the fiber, but Alpaca fibers are totally hollow, essentially making each fiber one giant air pocket. This singular giant air pocket makes alpaca approximately three times warmer than wool. In an environmental temperature of 0 degrees fahrenheit, wool will bring the wearer to a 30 degree comfort range, whereas alpaca will bring the wearer to a 50 degree comfort range.
Lightweight? You betcha.
That alpaca fibers are hollow makes alpaca fleece significantly lighter in weight than sheep’s wool. This means it will keep you warmer with less weight and bulk. In other words, you’ll look slimmer in an alpaca sweater than a wool sweater.
Moisture-wicking? Uh huh.
Because of the insulation properties of alpaca fibers, air is trapped inside, meaning the fibers naturally repel moisture. What does this mean? It means that if you are outside and it begins to rain, your alpaca garment will deflect water and keep you skin from getting wet. It also means is that alpaca is more stain resistant as any liquid that comes in contact with the fiber will be repelled.
Hypoallergenic? Yep - won’t itch!
Sheeps wool is itchy for two reasons - first, it has a grease on the fibers called ‘lanolin’ which elicits allergic reactions in many people. Alpacas do not produce lanolin which means...no allergic reactions to it! Second, alpaca fibers are also much smoother than wool which prevents any sort of “scratchy feeling” against your skin.
Cozy Alpaca Legwarmer - COMING SOON!