In this blog article we want to clarify whether alpaca wool is scratchy, what high quality alpaca wool actually is and what it is that makes baby alpaca wool so special.
In the times of the Incas, the divinely soft alpaca wool was only intended for kings and rulers. Nowadays, anyone can get such a beautiful garment.
Our wonderfully soft ACHIY jumpers are made of 100% baby alpaca wool, also called the “fleece of the gods“. This type of wool is of the highest quality because it comes from the first shearing of the young animals, when they are about 9 months old. The fibres of baby alpacas are often lighter than those of sheep, which is why a light and pleasant wearing comfort is guaranteed. Since the supply of alpaca wool is limited, a so-called alpaca blend is often used in garments. This means that in addition to alpaca wool, other textiles such as sheep’s wool are also used. At ACHIY, however, we use 100% baby alpaca wool and can thus ensure high quality and durability.
However, the wool is not only beautifully soft – it also keeps you cosy and warm. Alpacas live in the highlands of Peru at altitudes of up to 4.500 metres and under constantly changing weather conditions. Therefore, their fur must serve them in both warm and cold conditions. The wool fibres of their fur are hollow, which is why the wool can have a thermoregulatory effect. When it is cold, their own body heat is stored in the fibres. When it is hot, on the other hand, heat can be expelled from the outside. Due to its breathable properties, alpaca wool can be worn in winter as well as in summer. It acts like a natural air conditioning system.
Alpaca wool is often compared to cashmere because of its incredibly soft fibres. However, it has the advantage that, unlike cashmere, it does not felt and therefore has a very long life. The question of whether alpaca wool is scratchy can be answered with a clear no. Alpaca wool is perfect for making clothes that lie directly on the skin.
Baby alpaca wool can be very interesting for allergy sufferers, as it does not contain lanolin and is therefore particularly skin-friendly. Even the well-known problem of “pilling”, which often occurs with wool products, is not the case with alpaca wool. Furthermore, alpaca wool is incredibly hard-wearing, tear-resistant and even antistatic. It is also antibacterial, dirt-repellent and odour-neutralising. Any liquids, such as sweat, can be absorbed, neutralised and wicked away by the fibres.
Due to its very special properties, the high-quality and hard-wearing fibre lasts for decades and is therefore particularly sustainable. In addition, alpaca wool rarely needs to be washed, which of course considerably extends the life of the garments and makes them more sustainable.
Another aspect of sustainability is the way the animals are kept. Alpacas bite off their food on the stalk and do not pull the entire root system out of the ground. The desertification of the soil, which is often a problem when keeping herd animals, is thus avoided.
The alpacas are sheared only once a year – always shortly before the beginning of summer. The idea behind this is that the wool does not suffer too much from the temperature change.
Alpaca wool is very flexible, as it can be used for felting and weaving as well as for knitting. Of course, alpaca wool can not only be used to make beautiful clothing, but also rugs, blankets and other knitted products.
There is hardly any other naturally derived wool that can boast the same properties as baby alpaca wool. It is the ultimate in yarns. Baby alpaca wool is simply an all-rounder and not without reason the material for our ACHIY jumpers.