They are raised on the mountains, savannas and pastures of the Andean altiplano in Peru at heights between 3500 and 5000 meters. The Alpaca has developed a unique coat whose cell structure is similar to human hair.
Unlike wool and cashmere, Alpaca hair is hollow which allows the air trapped inside to expand and contract with temperature variations, they can withstand variations ranging from 30ºC during the day to -20 °C at night. Moreover, it is estimated that more than 4 million Alpacas live in South America and 90% come from the southern Peru.
There are two types of alpacas, the alpaca Suri, which has a very long, mop-like coat; and the alpaca huacaya, whose coat is shorter and curly, like that of a sheep.
The most valuable alpaca fiber is Baby alpaca, which is softer and finer than adult fiber. In fact, Baby Alpaca is not the fiber from a baby animal; rather, it is the first shear on a young animal, 3 years old.
This precious fibre is used by top designers worldwide. Alpaca is a soft, silky and durable fibre with unique thermal properties due to microscopic air bubbles found inside the hair. These bubbles allow the user to “breathe” through the fibres on hot days and in much the same way, to retain body heat in cold climates. It is also elastic and not inflammable.
As with most fibres, it is graded on its micron count (or fineness) before being spun into yarn, being its grade 20 – 22.9 microns.
The silky alpaca fibre is hypoallergenic, resists solar radiation and is usually very long-life material being a key for environmental care.
Shearing of alpaca is done once every year or two, depending upon the health of the animals, the quality of the fleece, and the intended purpose of the fiber. This allows the animals time throughout the warmer months to re-grow their coats in order to be prepared for the oncoming winter.
More about Alpaca and Baby Alpaca, here
One of the most valued fibres worldwide is the Pima Cotton, a variety that is grown along the northern coastal valleys of Peru where the ideal temperature and perfect atmospheric conditions produce a cotton of exceptional lustre and softness.
The long staple length of Pima Cotton (approximately 3.5 centimetres nearly twice as long as ordinary cotton) results in a fabric which is highly durable (up to 50% more resistant than other standard varieties of cotton), exceptionally soft and smooth and resistant to pilling.
These properties give the garments characteristics of durability and flexibility making it a perfect fabric to be worn next to the skin even for those with sensitive skin because it is hypoallergenic and processed without using of harmful chemicals.
Peru is the largest producer of Alpaca fiber holding 90% of the world’s total production. But countries such as USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, so on have also intended to breed the animal as the fiber is recognized as one of the finest for textile production directions. Below our team are intended to assist you in properly washing, drying and storing your alpaca garments. So, let’s do it!
As a producer of woolens, we can advise how best to take care of your precious purchase, and reassure you that it is not any extra work! To make sure that your garment stays as gorgeous as the day you bought it, it’s important to bear in mind the following:
We do not recommend using a dryer. If you choose to risk to do so, use a delicate of fluff low temperature setting, and only leave the product in the dryer for a very short period of time.
Dry the product in a flat position, and out of sunlight. Never hang or lay a wool garment to dry when it is saturated in water. Try to remove as much of the water as possible and don’t lay it out on anything that absorbs moisture (such as a towel). Colors might run and the natural elasticity of the garment may deteriorate.
Some reshaping to the original dimensions may be necessary. Remove wrinkles and straighten seams by hand. Do not use a brush, after the product has dried you may touch it up with a cold iron.
Pilling and balling of your purchase is perfectly normal. To remove pilling, and keep your item looking fresh and recently bought, we recommend using a wool comb or by hand. It is natural and uses no chemicals or batteries.
When ironing, use a steam iron, or put a moist protective sheet between a regular iron and the woolen surface.
STORING TO PRESERVE
Make sure the items are completely dry before storage. The second major consideration is the protection against moths. Some ideas include placing items is cedar chets, plastic zip-lock container, and plastic tubs. We do not recommend using mothballs.
Follow these steps to enjoy your woolen treasure for years and years to come!