Alpaca is amongst the world’s most luxurious and softest fibres for bedding products. It’s also 25% warmer than wool, lightweight, hypoallergenic, odour and mildew resistant and has excellent moisture wicking properties to help keep your body temperature steady throughout the night.
The tiny hollow areas within the centre of each individual fibre trap the warmth that is created through body heat and ensure you stay warm in cold winter nights.
Alpaca is the “Gold of the Andes”
Alpaca Duvet NZ is a small, domesticated camelid native to the Andes Mountains of South America. Its luxurious fleece is warmer and lighter than sheep’s wool, and as soft as cashmere.
Its fiber is incredibly strong and resilient, which makes it an ideal industrial fibre. It has microscopic air pockets that add extra insulation to its gossamer texture.
The fibre is naturally dyed and easily spun into yarn, thanks to its scale structure. It can be produced in 22 natural shades, from a true rich blue black through chocolate brown and russet to fawn and light champagne.
This luxury fibre is harvested by shearing the animal’s coat. The shearing process only occurs about once a year, so the wool is rare and valuable.
Alpaca is more rare than cashmere
Cashmere is the soft undercoat from Kashmir goats, while alpaca wool comes from the cria (baby) of Peruvian alpacas. Both are considered luxury fibres because of their fineness, warmth and insulating properties.
However, alpaca is a much more rare yarn than cashmere. It takes around four goat shearings to produce one cashmere sweater, but only one alpaca shearing to make an alpaca sweater.
As a result, alpaca is a more eco-friendly fiber than cashmere. It requires less food and water, its padded feet don’t erode the soil and it doesn’t chew up the vegetation like sheep do.
Alpaca is a natural fibre
Alpaca is a natural fibre, meaning it hasn’t been treated with dyes or chemicals. It is also biodegradable, making it a great option for those who want to be more environmentally conscious.
In contrast to sheep’s wool, which has a very strong tendency to pill and warp when worn, alpaca doesn’t do that. This means that your clothes will stay in better condition for longer, and they won’t need to be re-washed often.
This is because alpaca has a soft, silky feel, and is several microns smaller in diameter than sheep’s wool. This makes it very comfortable to wear and helps to regulate body temperature, keeping you warm and dry.
Alpacas are from the camelid family, which includes llamas and camels. They are a smaller animal, and have a docile temperament. They live in herds that graze on grasses and other forage throughout the year.
Alpaca is hypoallergenic
Many people with sensitive skin, or who are allergic to wool, find that alpaca is the perfect natural alternative. This is because the fibre does not contain lanolin, which is naturally produced by sheep.
Sheep’s wool, unless treated, has large scales which are easily itchy. The fibers of merino wool, on the other hand, are finer in diameter and tend to be very soft against the skin without causing any itching.
Sheep’s wool is also prone to collecting dirt and vegetable matter that can be removed by scouring the wool during the manufacture of clothing. It is this process, rather than a lack of lanolin, that is the key to being hypoallergenic.
Alpaca is environmentally friendly
As a responsible, sustainable and biodegradable fabric, alpaca wool is a great choice for your duvet. It is eco-friendly because it does not need to be washed frequently and is resistant to odor and staining.
This makes alpaca fabric a more sustainable alternative to other fabrics like cotton and polyester. It also requires less energy and chemicals to treat water used in the washing process.
Furthermore, alpacas live very lightly on the land, preventing soil erosion. Unlike sheep and goats, alpacas have soft-padded feet that do not damage the topsoil.