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What is so special about alpaca wool?
Alpaca wool is soft & strong
Alpaca wool has a special fiber structure that makes the material both soft and strong. Alpaca wool is softer than most regular sheep and llama wool, but also softer than mohair, which is made from goat hair.
Wool fibers are characterized by their scales located on the surface of the fiber. You can see these scales when you put the fiber under a microscope. The scales provide flexibility, warmth, and a voluminous appearance. In alpaca wool, the scales are much smaller than those of sheep wool, for example. This is the reason why alpaca wool is softer than regular sheep wool and because of this, alpaca wool also stings much less than other regular wool products. Our alpaca sweaters are also a favorite among people who can't stand wool stinging. The sweaters are wonderfully warm, soft, and don't sting!
In addition to being nice and soft, alpaca wool is also very strong. The strength of fibers is not measured per fiber but a per bundle of fibers. To break a kilo of alpaca wool fibers, you need a force of 50 Newtons. Believe me, that is pretty strong!
Alpaca wool is warm & shiny
Other typical properties of alpaca wool are that the material is warm and shiny. This is because the wool fibers of alpacas are hollow. Think of it like a straw or bucatini. Because the inside is hollow, the fiber can easily retain air and therefore heat. You probably know this trick from the old days, when your parents made you wear several layers of clothing during the winter. Between the different layers of clothing, the air is created which ultimately results in more warmth. With a really thick alpaca sweater, this is certainly not necessary!
The shine of alpaca wool is made possible by the hollow fiber and by the small scales on the surface of the fiber that we mentioned earlier. The smoother and more convex the surface of the fiber is, the more light it can capture and reflect. You can see this very well in our alpaca wool scarves and plain plaids, these products have a very luxurious look because of the long shiny alpaca fibers.
But there is more! In addition to the above 4 properties, alpaca wool is also naturally water and odor repellent, breathable, stain-resistant, durable, flexible, and affordable.