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The quality of alpaca wool
What is an alpaca?
The alpaca is a creature that derives from the camel family, like the dromedary. In contrast to the camel, the alpaca mainly lives in South American regions; in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. His brothers and sisters can be found there, too, like the llama, guanaco and vicuna.
Where do alpacas live?
A large part of the alpaca population lives freely in the Andes Cordillera, approximately 4880 meters above sea level. Because of the extreme changes in temperature, they had to adapt their body and fur so that they can live comfortably.
How much wool does an alpaca produce?
Alpacas only need a shaving once a year. This shaving happens around the period that is most beneficial for their fur, which is in nice and warm seasons. The hotter, the better. In contrast to a lot of other species, the alpaca produces around three kilograms of wool - which is about 20 times more than an ordinary sheep! Sheep only produce around 150 grams of wool.
When it comes to producing our alpaca wool product, we rely on the knowhow of Ecuadorians who live close to the alpacas. All alpacas live in total freedom in the mountains of Ecuador, in their natural habitat. The shaving is done with a lot of respect for the animals. Our alpaca plaids, sofa plaids, alpaca scarfs and ponchos are produced locally. The local workers are very skilled in handcrafting our product, which makes each product unique.
Alpaca fibers are both ecological and sustainable. There are different kinds of alpaca fibers: the ‘adult’ one, and the baby alpaca fiber. The baby alpaca fiber is the thinnest, with a thickness of between 18 and 22 micron, and is the softest of all. Because of these characteristics, we also use baby alpaca wool in our products.
Benefits of alpaca wool
- Alpaca wool does not require chemical treatments, such as bleaching or dyeing.
- The alpaca does not rip the roots of the grass out of the ground. Instead, they cute it with their teeth, so that the grass grows back faster.
- The alpaca has soft feet that does not damage the ground he stands on.
- Alpaca wool does not contain lanolin. Lanolin is the greasy substance that you often feel in sheep wool and can irritate some people's skin.
Benefits of the alpaca fiber
The alpaca fiber has many benefits for the wearer of the clothing item. The thermic capacity of alpaca wool is amazing, it’s 7 times greater than sheep wool. It’s isolating and warm, but also very light and airy. Plus, it does not smell bad when wet. Also, it is 4 times more durable than sheep wool. Plenty of reasons to get yourself an alpaca plaid, sweater or poncho!