No, it’s just a haircut! Alpacas are sheared once a year in spring, between March-May. Their hair grows back by winter to keep them warm until the following spring. They are much happier once they have been shorn so they are cooler during the summer months.
What is the difference between cashmere and alpaca?
Both alpaca and cashmere are famous for being soft and luxurious. Cashmere fibre is smaller and more delicate so it is more comparable with Royal Alpaca and Suri Alpaca, however many people cannot feel the difference. Alpaca fibres are much longer than cashmere fibres making it much more durable and much less likely to pill. In terms of warmth, alpaca is much warmer than cashmere thanks to it’s unique fibre structure and it is actually four times warmer than sheep’s wool!
Can alpaca garments be machine washed?
No. Alpaca fibre have tiny scales. If they are rubbed together, they will get stuck together. The combination of detergent and water make the alpaca hair even more vulnerable to friction and will cause the scales to interlock. In other words, your alpaca product will become less soft, shrink and less smooth.
Can alpaca products be used in warmer weather?
Alpaca fibre is so fine and versatile, it allows production of delicate and light garments for any time of the year. Each alpaca fibre is hollow like a straw making it highly breathable. Alpaca fibre can also be blended with other natural fibres like silk, cotton and linen to make even finer and lighter products.
Alpaca is so light, is it warm enough for European winters?
The hollow alpaca fibres create millions of microscopic air pockets making it extremely light and a great insulator to keep you warm and snug. Alpaca’s harsh high altitude environment and fluctuating weather (from -20°C to 30°C ) has allowed their fibre to withstand almost any climate.
Why is alpaca expensive?
Alpaca is a rare, luxurious and exclusive fibre that is not well known throughout the world. Alpacas can only be shorn once a year which makes availability very limited. Currently high end brands like Max Mara, Armani and Loro Piana are big advocates of alpaca. This is due to the more sustainable and ethical production of alpaca fibre compared to cashmere and other animal fibres. Prices also increase when garments are fair-trade, animal friendly and of high quality.
Can babies and children use alpaca products?
Alpaca fibre is ideal for babies and young children because it is soft, light, breathable and hypo-allergenic. Another benefit is it doesn’t absorb smells and naturally repels dirt.