Why select alpaca wool?

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If you think about alpaca clothing, you probably think of beautiful soft scarves and ponchos, more suitable for a city break than a visit to the mountains. However a closer look at the properties of alpaca wool shows that it is without doubt one of the highest performing fibres around. Like merino wool, alpaca is made of keratin protein fibres, which have been shown to function very well in harsh conditions. Additionally, alpaca wool is exclusive in that its fibres are medullated – in layman’s terms, sections of the fibre have less dense cores – which gives it an extra performance boost.

The key benefits of alpaca wool

Alpaca keeps you warm in the cold and funky in the heat. Like different types of wool, alpaca fibres have a natural curvature to them creating air-pockets within the weave. These air pockets help with thermal regulation throughout a range of temperatures. Additionally, the medullated cores imply that alpaca wool is extra cozy and further cool!

Natural odour resistance and antibacterial properties. Artificial fibres have a fame for being stinky and producers have come up with treatments to resolve that, however alpaca wool doesn’t want any help in this department. It repels bacteria naturally, meaning it is odour-free even after heavy use. Since you possibly can wear alpaca for longer, one alpaca wool shirt can exchange two or three artificial or cotton ones.

Alpaca wool is breathable and dries quickly. Alpaca wool is perfect as a sweat-wicking layer because the fibres take up sweat from your skin and move it outwards, meaning you’ll really feel dry and recent even after a sizzling, steep climb. When it does get wet, alpaca wool dries quicker than some other natural fibre.

Light however highly durable. Alpaca fibres have high tensile strength and are quite stretchy, so they are less likely to break during production or when knitted into your alpaca wool base layer. The “semi-hollow” structure of alpaca also makes it extra light, so alpaca wool mid layers are highly packable and ideal for keeping you warm round camp or as an additional layer on the airplane.

Environmentally friendly. Alpacas thrive when roaming semi-free (they are often corralled at evening for safety) at high altitudes in their natural habitat: the Peruvian Andes mountains. Alpaca wool is a renewable fibre as it grows back yearly without much outside affect and it biodegrades when thrown away. As a bonus, alpaca dung is used by farmers as fertiliser and cooking fuel; conveniently alpacas tend to make use of common dung piles, making it really simple to collect!

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