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Alpaca wool
09 February 2021

Face the winter cold with alpaca wool garments

The Ancient Inca’s confined the use of alpaca wool for royalty. Today anyone can, and should buy it. It’s time to find out what makes it so special

The alpaca has been domesticated for approximately 5,000 years but their fleece has been used to make wool for roughly 9,000 years. Originally it was reserved for royalty, today anyone can purchase it.

It’s time you discovered how alpaca wool is made, what makes it so comfortable and warm, and why you should be investing in your own alpaca wool garments.

Characteristics of sustainable alpaca wool textiles

Alpaca wool comes from the alpaca. This animal is similar to the llama although smaller and their hair is not brittle or coarse like the llama. It’s also worth noting that it’s softer than sheep wool and doesn’t have the greasy lanolin coating that sheep have.

On the animal this makes their fur glossy, off the animal it makes it very easy to process into yarn. In fact, this is one of the reasons why it’s so appreciated. The natural process means that even people with allergies can wear alpaca wool clothing.

The alpaca is shorn by hand once a year, the fleece that is removed is carded before being spun. It will then need to be washed and air-dried. If you’re wondering is alpaca wool sustainable then you’ll be happy to know it is.

The animals are not hurt and the fur grows back, ready to be shorn again the following year. It is important to note that the process of turning alpaca hair into wool is manually intensive, it's the only way of assuring the quality of the wool.

Alongside its hypoallergenic qualities, alpaca wool is incredibly soft and durable. Once you’re wrapped in this you won’t need to ask “is alpaca warmer than merino wool?” As soon as you try an alpaca wool garment you’ll feel the warmth, there is nothing like it.

That’s what makes alpaca wool so special and unique.

Taking care of your alpaca wool garments

Having got an alpaca wool garment you’ll be wondering the best way to wash and take care of it. Questions you’ve never considered before, like can you wash an alpaca wool blanket, will suddenly be very important.

The short answer is yes. However, you may have been told that hand embroidered wool clothes need to be hand washed. In the past, this would have been true as machines were not gentle enough with these fabrics.

Thanks to advancements in modern technology, that is no longer the case. For example, Haier’s Super Drum has a specially designed soft ‘pillow-shaped’ design on drum's surfaces means your laundry will never get snagged while tumbling during a cycle.

In fact, Haier has an array of appliances that can look after your alpaca wool garments. For example, the Haier I-Pro Series 7 contains all of our most advanced technologies, ensuring these remarkably efficient washing machines deliver exceptional results every time, while remaining easy to use and consistently reliable.

It is worth noting that you shouldn’t ring or twist alpaca wool garments, this will weaken the fabrics and destroy the shape. It’s also best to lay these garments out flat to dry, ideally on a towel. When the item is dry fold it to store, alpaca wool garments cannot be hung as this will allow it to stretch and lose its shape.

Of course, you need to follow the instructions on your garment and your washing machine. But, you will be able to wash these luxurious items.

Top tips when choosing alpaca wool clothing

Consider the following before you invest in alpaca wool garments:

  • Know the alpaca type

There are two main types of alpaca, both are great to wear but it’s worth knowing the difference. Huacaya alpaca wool is fluffier, in contrast, Suri alpaca wool garments are shinier and feel silky.

You should be aware that most sellers won’t be able to tell or recognize the difference, but it's nice to know there is one.

  • Check the temperature

Cold is good! Pure alpaca is cold to the touch. This is part of the natural process and one of the reasons why it’s so effective at keeping you warm!

If you’re looking for alpaca wool garments then don’t be afraid to feel them. They should be soft and cold.

  • Pay the price

It’s not cheap but it is worth it. Be prepared to pay the price because alpaca wool garments are luxurious, soft, and durable. Should you choose to purchase a cheap alternative you’ll probably not be getting genuine alpaca wool.

Final thoughts to consider with alpaca wool

Alpaca wool is sustainable and doesn’t harm the animal when being collected. Because it comes from an animal and is labour-intensive to create, the garments tend to be expensive.

However, it’s worth paying the price. Once you’ve experienced the softness and warmth of alpaca wool you won’t want to wear synthetic clothes again.