If there were a hypothetical contest between all the fibers and fabrics in the world, we feel 100% confident that alpaca would win by a mile. Let's say that the contest is broken up into multiple events, in order to give every contender a fair chance-- alpaca still wins, in every category. Alpaca is the strongest fiber known to man; it's softer than cashmere, smoother than silk, stronger than mohair, lighter and warmer than wool, and better-breathing than thermal knits.
Despite being fashion-obsessed from a young age, until about a year ago, I was completely ignorant about alpacas. But since encountering Sun Valley Alpaca Co., I've even become borderline-obsessed. Assuming that many of you are as lost as to the benefits of alpaca as I was, I thought I'd share with you a top 10 list - plus a few more, detailing my favorite qualities of alpaca.
Top 10+ Reasons Why Alpaca Wins
1. Durability: Alpaca holds up better than sheep's wool and cashmere. It doesn't pill like cashmere and it retains its shape better than most fabrics.
2. Eco-Friendly: Buying alpaca is a green choice. It's biodegradable, due to being a protein-based fabric. And because of its high price point, the consumer is more motivated to take better care of an alpaca garment, thus extending its life.
3. Wicks Moisture: When you wear an alpaca sweater, it wicks moisture away rather than absorbing it, keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
4. Easily Cleaned: Many garments as luxurious as alpaca require expensive and inconvenient dry cleaning. You can simply hand wash your alpaca knit items, laying them flat to dry. Socks and other items can be machine washed. Due to the beautiful weave on throws, it is recommended to green dry clean them for longest life.
5. Lightweight: Alpaca can be knit or woven into finer materials than other wools, increasing the variety of styles available.
6. Natural luster: Alpaca fiber has a natural sheen to it, more beautiful than I've seen in any other fabric.
7. Hypoallergenic: Due to the absence of lanolin, among other factors, alpaca is safe for everyone to wear.
8. Naturally Flame-Resistant: Unlike other fabrics, like polyester, which virtually turns into a ball of plastic when lit on fire, alpaca is naturally non-flammable.
9. Odor-Free: Alpaca is resistant to mold and mildew, and it wicks away body moisture.
10. All-Natural and Organic: Our products are never treated with pesticides, fungicides, or harsh chemicals, making them gentle on your skin and on the environment.
11. Sustainability: All of our Sun Valley Alpaca Co. wool is sustainably harvested and ethically sourced from regional farms located in the southern portion high atop the Andes Mountain region of Peru.
12. Low Impact on the Planet: Alpaca’s have an exceptionally low environmental impact. They do not destroy pastures by over grazing nor do they emit methane gas. Their soft padded hooves tread softly on the earth and their waste is naturally contaminate free, making them, as well as the products made from alpaca wool, highly sustainable.
13: Relationships: Working with crafts-people for more than 2 decades, they have long standing friendships with the knitters, crochet artists and master weavers, not just knowing their names, knowing their families. Births, weddings, trials and tribulations - they support their craftsmen. Of course they are Fair-Trade!