Alpaca fiber is soft, strong, and incredibly luxurious. With wool, cashmere, and synthetics on the market today, choosing the right material is essential for creating and/or purchasing both craft items and apparel.
The following is a guide to alpaca fiber as compared with other types of materials, designed to showcase the superior quality and usefulness of this exceptional fleece.
Alpaca vs. Wool
The most popular animal-based material, wool is known for its warmth and sometimes scratchy texture. When wool and alpaca fiber go to head to head, however, this standby almost always comes in second.
Alpaca fiber is:
- Stronger per the same micron fineness.
- Softer and less irritating to sensitive skin.
- Naturally hypoallergenic. Fibers are free from dander and lanolin, both of which can cause allergic reactions.
- Remains cleaner for longer periods of time due to a lack of lanolin, which can otherwise hold dust.
- Won’t mat or pill when harvested from adult alpaca, even in superfine textures.
- Rich in a wide variety of colors.
- Shrinks less than wool when washed.
- Thermostatically superior. If worn in a zero-degree Farenheit environment, alpaca fiber would provide a 50-degree Farenheit comfort experience, as opposed to the 30-degree Farenheit level for wool.
Alpaca vs. Synthetics
Scientists have created synthetic fibers in order to improve upon the characteristics of natural materials. However, alpaca fibers provide numerous benefits, without alteration:
Alpaca fiber presents the following characteristics:
- Superior breathability.
- Wicks away body moisture.
- Hollow, offering greater warmth for the weight.
- Generates heat even in wet conditions.
- Naturally windproof and flame resistant
- Very low static electricity generated
- Does not hold debris and stays cleaner, longer
- Stain resistant; resists acquired odors
- Wrinkle resistant
- All-natural and biodegradable
- Has a natural luster
- Thermostatically superior, providing a 50-degree Farenheit comfort level if worn in a zero-degree environment, as opposed to the 20-degree environment provided by synthetics.
Alpaca vs. Cashmere
Cashmere is known as a luxury fabric, but alpaca fibers offer all of the same features, and more.
- Are warmer than cashmere.
- Come in up to 28 natural colors
- Are more wrinkle resistant than cashmere, and stronger.
- Pill less than cashmere.
- Absorb little to no moisture.
- Are flexible. Baby alpaca fibers are as flexible as cashmere fibers.
- Notably less prone to shrinkage than cashmere.
- Easier to clean than cashmere and do not require dry cleaning.
- Brimming with natural luster that lasts for decades, while cashmere loses its luster after a few years.
Alpaca fibers are naturally sustainable, organic, and an exceptional choice for use in apparel and handicrafts due to their elasticity, warmth, softness, and durability. Raising alpaca is an incredible way to gain regular access to these fibers for use in a variety of projects.
If you are interested in purchasing an alpaca, bred from one of our world class herdsires, contact our team at The Alpaca Group today!