The Science of Alpaca Fiber
All Camelids generally boast a lower fiber scale relief than most other fiber bearing animals. Scales, formed as the fiber grows, create microscopic edges that have a significant impact on how the fiber feels to human touch. When magnified, the importance of the scales becomes crystal clear: the lower the relief, the smoother the hand. This is where alpaca fiber shines. Both Huacaya and Suri alpaca fiber have a lower scale relief than sheep’s wool and many other fibers. This gives fine grades of alpaca a smooth texture more suitable to producing luxurious, next-to-skin garments.
At Applewood Lane, our goal is to produce elite fiber. That’s why we’ve started with excellent genetics and are committed to moving the breed forward one animal at a time.
What Makes Alpaca Fiber Special?
• ALL FIBER USABLE
• LOW PRICKLE FACTOR
• HYPOALLERGENIC (reported to be)
• RESISTANT TO UV RADIATION
• WATER REPELLENT
• DRAPES WELL
• DOES NOT PILL
• WARM AND INSULATIVE
• RESISTANT TO DIRT
• SILKY, LUSTROUS TEXTURE
• COMES IN MANY NATURAL COLORS
• LITTLE STATIC
• DURABILE, TENSILE STRENGTH
• WRINKLE RESISTANT
Common Fibers Blended with Alpaca
Alpaca and acrylic – adds durability and machine washability
Alpaca and wool – gives alpaca more elasticity
Alpaca and silk – silk adds a luxurious sheen, fine gauge and elegant drape
Alpaca and bamboo – decreases fiber variation, adds durability and crispness
Just 10-20% of bamboo fibers creates a binding agent for alpaca fibers and decreases fiber migration and pilling.
Alpaca and cotton – lends lighter weight for warmer weather wear