The alpaca fiber comes from the animal’s fleece bearing the same name. 75% of the world’s alpaca population is bred in the Peruvian Andes. Alpaca fiber is often compared to cashmere; however, Alpacas are much more eco-friendly than cashmere goats because they cut the grass they eat instead of pulling it out, which allows the grass to keep growing. Additionally, Alpacas have soft padding under their feet, which is more gentle for the soil than goat or sheep hooves.
They need very little water and food to survive and produce enough wool for 4 or 5 sweaters per year, while a goat needs 4 years to produce just one cashmere sweater.
Additional benefits of alpaca wool are that it doesn’t contain lanolin, unlike sheep wool, which means the cleaning process before spinning is lighter. There are sixteen different natural colours of alpaca wool, which makes it possible to vary and combine without having to use dye.
Alpaca fiber also has many technical qualities. It has a reputation for being hypo-allergenic, non-flammable, has high elasticity and strength, is easy to launder, and is extremely soft.
Alpaca wool belongs to the SANE Approved material.
It means that a product made of at least 90% alpaca (or blended with other SANE Approved Material) and produced in a facility holding a SANE Scope Certificate is eligible to be certified SANE.
Copy partner: Sustain Your Style; Picture: Trace Hudson
Other sources: E3S Web of Conferences 2020; huffingtonpost.co.uk_eleanor-oneill;