By Sara Milanes
One of the founders at HOPE MADE IN THE WORLD
Here are a few useful facts and tips about alpaca´s and their fiber:
- Alpaca wool has been around for millennia. Called the “fiber of the Gods”, the ancient Incan kings recognized the animal´s unique qualities and it was only used by the wealthy and influential.
- It is stronger, softer, and lighter than cashmere and merino.
- If proper care is given, alpaca garments can last decades. Hence, the demand for new products is reduced. It is highly resistant to pilling and won´t shrink. If and when pills manifest, you can hand wash in cold water and lay flat to dry and pills are absorbed back into the fabric. It is magnificent.
- They are highly wear-resistant and water-resistant garments. Its strength reduces stretching and distortion.
- Alpaca´s are considered one of the greenest animals. Their efficient eating habits result in reduced water needs as well as acreage.
- Alpaca is sustainable by nature. They produce fleece throughout its life without being harmed. When spring arrives in the Andes and the weather gets warmer, alpaca farmers shear the animals for their annual hair-cut. While alpacas don’t usually enjoy the shearing process itself, they are noticeably more comfortable after their annual cut.