It's all about the fiber...
Alpacas were domesticated by the Incas more than 6,000 years ago and raised for their exquisite fleece. Having lived for thousands of years in the high-altitude of the Andes, alpacas have developed a coat that keeps them warm in the harsh freezing winters while simultaneously staying cool under the scorching summer sun. This gives alpaca fiber a rare combination of qualities to make it as efficient as possible. It is a natural insulator, one of the warmest weatherproof textiles on the market. Alpaca fiber also allows for breathability in warmer climates, and is extremely lightweight. This multi-functionality makes an alpaca fiber product perfect for every climate.
Alpaca fiber is…
WARM & LIGHTWEIGHT: Alpaca fibers are practically hollow inside, making garments better insulated with a greater thermal capacity. The hollow nature of the fiber allows for more heat to become trapped within the fiber, keeping you warmer than the average wool garment. This also results in producing clothing that’s breathable and significantly lightweight!
COMFORTABLE & DURABLE - Alpaca fleece has more stretch and less shrinkage than other fibers. Each fiber has a natural crimp to it, making it a flexible fiber to work with and lots of elasticity. After being stretched, the fibers ultimately bounce back to their original form, allowing for garments to keep their shape over time. It also possesses a high tensile strength, meaning that it’s tough to break and pull apart.
SOFT & SMOOTH – Soft to the touch, alpaca fiber has a smaller frequency of scales (or microscopic edges on each fiber that create friction) than wool fiber. It doesn’t have that “prickly” sensation that other natural fibers have. This feature also prevents pilling.
HYPOALLERGENIC – Unlike sheep wool, alpaca fiber does not contain the wax Lanolin, making it naturally hypoallergenic. As a result, alpaca fiber is considered to be far less itchy and irritating than wool.
ANTI– Alpaca fiber is anti-microbial and anti-fungal, and is dust mite resistant, making it ideal for bedding products like duvets, blankets and pillows.
WATER RESISTANT – Alpaca fiber has incredible wicking properties, making it more difficult for liquids to penetrate the surface of the fibers and saturate the garment. The liquids usually evaporate off the outer layer of garments due to the warmth of the fleece itself. This also allows for better odor control!
FLAME RESISTANT – Alpaca fiber doesn’t ignite or melt when exposed to an open flame. The fibers take longer to burn and when they eventually do, the fibers char rather than melting and releasing toxic chemicals, as is the case with most synthetic fibers.
LUSTROUS – Alpaca fiber has a natural sheen to it! It reflects the light beautifully and adds a unique vibrancy and luster to garments.
HIGH YIELDING – Every spring, our alpacas yield approximately 5-10 lbs. of fiber after shearing… each! Moreover, all of the fiber that is shorn possesses a much higher percentage of clean usability (approximately 80%) than wool.
MULTI-COLORED – Our alpacas at Krystal Acres range from golden brown, to light fawn, to black and white, to various shades of grey. Alpaca fiber comes in 22 colors and hundreds of shades, from white to light rose gray to dark fawn, in addition to the blends that can be made from those, thus minimizing the need for pollution-intensive dyeing.
BIODEGRADABLE – Natural and unaltered alpaca fiber is 100% biodegradable.