home grown ALPACA yarn & products ELKTON, VA
alpaca wool doesn’t contain lanolin – which makes it less itchy than sheep wool or cashmere.
Alpaca fiber is hollow or contains air pockets – this helps it insulative value – making it lighter than sheep’s wool and 3 times warmer.
The "Green" Animal
Alpacas are called the “green animal” because of the way they treat mother earth. They have padded feet with toes instead of hoofs.
They gently graze effectively mowing the pasture. They nibble at the tops of grasses, rather than ripping up the grass like other grazing animals.
They have communal “potties", they poop and pee in a communal dung pile that helps reduce parasites and keeps waste out of water ways.
What is an alpaca?They are gentle-hearted, soft, curious animals from the camelid family. The camelid family also includes llamas and camels. Average alpaca weight is about 150 pounds, compared to llamas which average 300 pounds. Alpacas live 15- 20 years and eat grass and hay. They are gentle, majestic, and graceful herd animals.
What is alpaca fiber?Alpacas are mainly raised for their fiber, which is commonly called “alpaca wool”. They produce 5-8 pounds of high-quality fiber each year. There are two alpaca breeds: the Suri and Huacaya (pronounced wuh-kai-ya). Suri alpaca fiber grows in long somewhat loose curls that look like dreadlocks. Huacaya alpaca fiber is more dense, fluffy, spongy, with a defined crimp. Huacaya alpaca with a full coat can look like a big fluffy teddy bear with a long neck. Alpacas must be shorn annually so they don’t overheat in the summer.
Why alpaca wool?Technically – alpaca fiber is not “wool” – because the fiber is hollow, it’s more like hair. However, it’s commonly called alpaca wool. Alpacas produces hypoallergenic, super soft, super warm, luxurious fiber. It does not contain lanolin, which makes it hypoallergenic. The fibers are hollow (or contain air pockets) which makes alpaca products highly insulative and breathable at the same time. It is water resistant and hard to set on fire. It is 3 times warmer than sheep’s wool and softer than cashmere. Through the ages, alpaca wool has been considered a luxury fabric, “the fiber of the gods”.