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Why select alpaca wool?
While you think about alpaca clothing, you probably think of lovely 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 among the highest performing fibres around. Like merino wool, alpaca is made of keratin protein fibres, which have been shown to operate 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 provides it an additional performance boost.
The key benefits of alpaca wool
Alpaca keeps you warm within the cold and cool within 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 across a range of temperatures. Additionally, the medullated cores mean that alpaca wool is further cozy and further cool!
Natural odour resistance and antibacterial properties. Artificial fibres have a popularity for being stinky and manufacturers have come up with remedies to unravel that, however alpaca wool doesn’t need any help in this department. It repels bacteria naturally, that means it is odour-free even after heavy use. Since you can wear alpaca for longer, one alpaca wool shirt can change or three synthetic or cotton ones.
Alpaca wool is breathable and dries quickly. Alpaca wool is perfect as a sweat-wicking layer because the fibres soak up sweat out of your skin and move it outwards, which means you’ll feel dry and fresh even after a hot, steep climb. When it does get wet, alpaca wool dries quicker than another natural fibre.
Light but highly durable. Alpaca fibres have high tensile power and are quite stretchy, so they're less likely to break throughout production or when knitted into your alpaca wool base layer. The "semi-hole" construction of alpaca additionally makes it additional light, so alpaca wool mid layers are highly packable and perfect for keeping you warm around camp or as an extra layer on the airplane.
Environmentally friendly. Alpacas thrive when roaming semi-free (they are usually corralled at night time for safety) at high altitudes of their natural habitat: the Peruvian Andes mountains. Alpaca wool is a renewable fibre as it grows back yearly without a lot outside influence and it biodegrades when thrown away. As a bonus, alpaca dung is utilized by farmers as fertiliser and cooking fuel; conveniently alpacas tend to make use of frequent dung piles, making it really straightforward to collect!
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