Alpaca wool's characteristics
Alpaca wool is one of the most valuable wool in the world. To the Inca, alpaca wool had the same value as gold. Alpacas are not bread for their fur nor their meat, but luxurious wool.
Alpaca wool is very soft and considered to be 7 times warmer than sheep wool. The wool is smooth and silky, also light.
This wool has two very special qualities: it doesn't burn and rejects water. As the wool is sleek, water tends to fall off. But of course the wool soaks if pressed into water. If wet, the wool has a unique way of still maintaining its warmth.
As alpaca wool doesn't consist of lanolin, it's suitable for people, who are normally allergic to wool. Those with extremely sensitive skin should choose the wool of baby alpacas.
Baby alpaca wool doesn't have to be the wool of a young alpaca. The term comes from its softness, meaning when the animal has inherited good genes from her/his parents, even an fully grown alpaca can give luxurious and soft wool.
Even though alpaca wool is thin, it's still considered strong, maintaining its qualities better than sheep wool. But, as all natural fibers, it can wear out. This means that the wool is often mixed with other, often synhetic fibers, such as polyamid, polyester or nylon.
In addition, it's only natural that fiber streches and changes its shape. With the right care - both washing and drying - the knitted product can return to its original state. Knitwear made from alpaca wool should be washed like all other wool: either by hand or using the wool programme on the washing machine. With the proper washing liquid made for wool. Knitwear should be dryed in a horisontal position, not hanging.