The alpaca industry is booming worldwide. It is primarily based in South America, but farms are now found throughout the world including Australia, the US and New Zealand.
Alpacas require a small amount of hay as a supplement to their pasture diet. They also need drenching twice a year and their hooves trimmed.
Alpacas are a member of the camelid family and are cousins to llamas, vicunas, and guanacos. Their soft and luscious fur, known as alpaca wool, is used to create cozy and warm sweaters, scarves, hats, and gloves. Alpaca wool is also a sustainable textile with a low environmental footprint. It is also a cruelty-free textile as long as brands choose to partner with ethical, certified alpaca breeders.
Alpaca wool is a natural insulator with thermo-regulating properties. Its hollow fiber is able to keep the body’s temperature stable without changing, which can help reduce clammy and sweaty body heat.
Sheep’s wool has barbs that irritate the skin, but alpaca fleece has minimal to no prickly guard hairs, making it much softer and more gentle on the skin. It doesn’t require the harsh chemical scouring of sheep’s wool either, as it naturally contains no grease or lanolin. To wash your alpaca garments, simply soak them in a mixture of water and eco-friendly soap.
Alpaca wool is considered more environmentally friendly than other specialty fibres because it does not require the same chemical treatment and dyeing. It is also very lightweight. The lack of lanolin means it is hypoallergenic and it also helps to keep you cool in warmer weather and warm in colder climates.
Alpaca fleece comes in two different types – Huacaya and Suri. Huacaya is the most popular alpaca fleece as it is a lot like sheep wool. Suri on the other hand looks more like natural silk and has a dreadlock appearance.
The majority of alpaca farms are small, independent families. These producers often don’t have the buying power to negotiate fair prices with middlemen and it can be difficult for them to get a good return on their investment.
We believe in supporting these family farmers and we buy our raw materials directly from them to ensure that they are getting a good price for their work. This allows us to provide you with the best quality alpaca yarns.
Our brushed alpaca scarf is a simple yet warm and cosy accessory that’s super soft on the skin. It’s easy to wear and comes in a variety of natural colours. It’s a great gift item as well.
The alpaca fleece is very lustrous, with no prickly guard hairs and very little lanolin which makes it hypoallergenic. It also resists stretching and wrinkling much better than other types of wool.
This natural fibre is very warm as it contains a hollow core to the fibres like possum fur, making it extremely soft and light weight, compared to sheep’s wool which has a prickly feel and heavy nature.
There are two breeds of alpaca, huacaya and suri, both producing different types of fleece. The huacaya produces thicker fleece, good for knitting and the suri has a silkier texture and is ideal for weaving. Both receive unsurpassed care at their farm and graze on completely organic fields, so you can be sure that this luxurious fibre is eco friendly.
Alpacas are part of the Camelid family, which also includes camels, llamas, vicunas and guanacos. They are shorn for their soft, hair-like fibre which is used to make knitted garments such as sweaters, scarves, hats and gloves.
This is a very soft natural fibre with few prickly guard hairs. It is lighter than sheep wool, warmer than cashmere and has an amazing thermal capacity because of microscopic air pockets that form in the fibres.
Unlike sheep wool, alpaca yarn does not irritate the skin and has no lanolin which means that it’s hypoallergenic. It is also softer and more supple than cotton and silk. It also has the ability to wick away moisture from the body, so it’s not as heavy when worn. It’s also more resistant to water than other natural textiles. Hand wash your alpaca wool using cool or warm (not hot) water and wool detergent. Avoid twisting, wringing or agitating the garment as this will cause shrinkage.
Explore our extensive product shop and discover the joy of shopping with KIWI WOOL firsthand. We encourage you to reach out to us without hesitation for any inquiries, comments, or suggestions you may have. We’re here to assist you.