Healthful warmth of Alpaca wool


Alpaca is a domestic animal raised in the high-mountain areas of South America: Ecuador, Peru, Chile and in the northern Bolivia. Alpacas have adjusted to the severe high-mountain climate and live at about 4000 meters above the sea level. Their height is no more than 1 meter, weight is about 70 kg, and average lifetime is 20-25 years. Their characteristic feature is a 15-25 cm long, shiny and very soft hair that resembles camel or sheep wool, but at the same time it is thinner and considerably more durable.

Locals refer to Alpaca wool as ‘celestial fiber’ due to its softness and shine. The natural Alpaca color is black, light or dark brown, and grey. Overall, there are about 20 shades of Alpaca wool. However, the most valuable is albino-white wool. This color can be achieved through farmers’ hard work during breeding and hand sorting of cut hair.

There are two species of Alpaca – Huacaya and Suri, which are distinguished by the length of their hair. Huacaya hair is thick and crimpy, while Suri hair is long and straight. Suri wool is considered to be the most valuable one since it is longer, shinier, and falls down the animal’s flanks like a mane. However, Suri are very hard to breed on a farm, thus, their wool make up only 15% of the total volume of output.

Indians domesticated Alpaca over 6000 years ago. Nowadays, these animals are raised only for their hair. It is clipped twice a year, and each time farmers get several kilos of topnotch wool. However, the hair is not clipped entirely but only from the back and flanks of an animal. It is stipulated by the facts that the softest hair grows exactly at these parts of their bodies, and also because the animals cannot be left without a coat that protects them from a cold mountain climate. Alpaca wool is popular all over the world, and for many farmers it is the main source of export. In Peru alone the numbers of livestock is around 4 million head. Alpaca breeding is based on the scientifically valid programs.
Alpaca An average farm holds up to 100 animals. Back in the years, Alpaca wool was used exclusively for the Incan royal family, and only in the second half of the XVIII century Europeans found out about these outstanding woolen fabrics.

Alpaca wool is highly valued all around the world for its excellent quality and durability. The wool of young animals is softer; therefore, it is used for manufacturing clothes. The thicker yarn is used for the carpet weaving. The items made of Alpaca wool preserve their fineness for a long time. Due to the huge temperature swings in the mountains, Alpaca wool is seven times warmer than sheep wool. It contains no lanoline or other organic fats, therefore, the items made of this wool don’t cause any dust mite allergies. Alpaca wool is also distinguished for its healthful properties: it helps to reduce backaches and joint pains, improves blood circulation and helps with arthritis and arthrosis. Due to the length and silkiness of fibers, items of Alpaca wool are not prone to pilling, the yarn is rather thick and very nice to the feel.

Plaids from Alpaca wool protect not only from cold, but also from heat. They don’t stretch out or crumple easily, are water and dirt resistant. The only disadvantage of these items is their relatively high price; however, it is completely justified by the excellent quality of items. Alpaca wool is a unique natural fabric. Plaids from Alpaca wool provide you not only with warmth, but they also speak for your exquisite taste and sense of style.