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The Benefits of Alpaca Wool

I love using Alpaca wool and I love knitting and creating lovely items from it – I only came upon using this wool very recently ie in the last 2 years from a very helpful suggestion that a colleague made and linked me to a local Alpaca farmer.

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Local Alpaca Farmer – some of their herd

But what are the benefits of using Alpaca wool rather than other fibres – well here it is – the real facts behind using Alpaca and why I love it so much.

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Ribbons and Awards this Local Alpaca Herd and Farmer has won. Quality Breed

a.  Alpaca Wool

is recognised as one of the most luxurious fabrics in the world. It’s used in the most elite global fashion houses because of its softness, luster and versatility.  There are lots of amazing natural fibres, but none quite like Alpaca wool.

b. Warmth

– Alpaca wool certainly has bragging rights here. It’s simply the warmest all-weather friendly fibre.   Did you know that Alpaca fibres contain microscopic air pockets, providing great insulation and keeping you warm during the winter. These same air pockets allow for outstanding breathability, thus keeping you cool in the summer. A high-quality light sweater made from Alpaca wool can keep you warmer than most heavy jackets and more comfortable than many a cotton sweatshirt.

c. Weight

– One reason Alpaca wool is so versatile is because of its weight, or lack thereof. Those same microscopic air pockets help to reduce the weight of Alpaca fibers, making Alpaca fabric almost as light as air.  This is perfect when you have created something for a newborn baby or child – its weight means it does not feel bulky or heavy on the baby and is super super soft to the touch and feel.

d. Strength

– Alpaca wool fibres are fine, lightweight and silky. Yet this luxury fibre has great strength and durability. Don’t let the cute Alpaca face fool you, these animals are tough and strong, surviving long, cold Andean winters. It’s no wonder Alpaca fibre lasts longer than most any other luxury fibre, including other wools, cashmere, and silk. With proper care, high quality Alpaca knits and creations can be an heirloom passed down through the generations.

e. Texture

– Alpaca, especially Royal or Baby Alpaca, has a special feel to it. Soft, luxurious, soothing, comforting, all of these adjectives apply. The feeling of a quality Alpaca garment draped around you is pure magic. You know you’re wearing one of the true luxury fibres.  Warm, Lightweight, Strong, with a special luxury feel: Alpaca fibres are truly some of nature’s finest work. If you stop and think about it for a minute, it kind of makes sense. Alpaca have evolved over thousands of years to life in the high Andean mountains. Winters can be cold and harsh, the summer sun can burn right through you, and at such a high altitude, you want to be carrying as little extra weight as possible. The Alpaca fibre is simply a product of its environment and we’re lucky enough to be able to share it with you.

The Benefits of Alpaca Wool are not just those as mentioned above, there is so much more – my research into the wool has made me realise just how fantastic it is and how much more I want to create new and wonderful makes for babies, children and even adults in this wonderful versatile wool.

It’s versatility and amazing set of natural characteristics make it a truly fabulous fibre to work with and wear.

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Awards won from Alpaca Wool

f.  Resistant

– Alpaca wool is a practical fibre with a lot of natural resistance. It’s known to be flame, water, odour, stain and wrinkle resistant. Now that does not mean that I would recommend doing anything so daft as trying to set it on fire, swim in it, eat a curry and use it as a napkin or crumple it and throw into the bottom of your wardrobe – but it can stand up to some abuse from just daily routine and still not be the worse for wear – and there are not very many items that can cope with that all and still look as good as when first made.

g.  Hypoallergenic

– Many people have allergy problems with sheep wool. This is often because of Lanolin. Lanolin is an oil found in sheep wool; it attracts dust, bacteria and other allergens. Alpaca fibres do not contain any lanolin and often offer relief to people who are sensitive to sheep wool or other animal fibres. Alpaca is a natural  fit for those with allergies or sensitive skin.  Hence why its perfect for newborns, premature babies and young children alike – their skin is often so sensitive that the fibre is perfect next to their skin.

H.  Colours

Alpaca fingerless mitts

Fingers Mitts – perfectly made in 100% Alpaca wool

– Alpaca wool comes in 22 natural colours ranging from black, brown, and maroon, to white. Additionally, it takes and retains dyes easily without losing any of its luster and sheen. This allows for a beautiful finished product requiring minimal processing. Some larger companies use un dyed Alpaca wool in their creations and they are gorgeous as well – I have some of this and to be honest when you use it you can see the natural gloriousness of this wool even more and it knits up beautifully as well.

I.  Eco-friendly

– Because it’s a renewable fibre, Alpaca wool is one of the most eco friendly textiles. Alpacas are easy on their surrounding environment. They nibble gently on the local grasslands and their feet are padded (no hard hoofs) so they do little damage to  their grazing terrain. Modern techniques for shaving the animals are safe and actually beneficial to the animal, ridding them of dirt and parasites on a regular basis. The fibre  requires little processing to turn into the luxurious yarns and woven materials used in the finished products. Overall, Alpaca fibre production leaves a smaller environmental footprint than many other fibres used in the textile industry.

Alpaca wool is a strong, versatile material that performs equally well in the heat of summer or the cold of winter. Of course it’s durable and warm; it’s also luxuriously soft and has a low environmental impact.

To be honest there was so much more to using this Alpaca Wool that I did not even understand or realise until I began to read up and research into it – and while I know it is much more expensive that other wool that I could use – I personally feel as a Hand knitter that I want to use it so much more now and create so many more beautiful makes for you.

But I also wanted to share with you – the WHY – why I use Alpaca Wool and what those Benefits of using this wool are all about.

Check out my lastest make over on my Etsy shop page.