Alpaca, the animal, the wool, alpaca yarn, dyes, care of Alpaca Fashion

   
natural stlye logo alpakas in den Anden
ALPACA
... an unparalleled luxury ...

A South American relative of the camel, the Alpaca lives in the Andean highlands under extreme climatic conditions. It has been a domesticated species coveted by the Indians for many hundreds of years, and now provides a solid economic foundation for the well-being of the people in these regions.

Quality

The Alpaca lives at elevations of 4000 to 6000 meters (13,000 to 20,000 ft). On a single day, the animal is likely to be exposed to snow, hail, rain, a burning sun, and nightly temperatures that could reach minus 30 Celsius (-22F).

But nature has prepared it well:

a silky, glowing, unusually fine but nonetheless sturdy and elastic hair protects it from the harsch environment. Alpaca fiber is not only very thin, it is also straiter, and has a smoother surface than sheeps wool, which explains why alpaca doesn't pill, and why alpaca garments keep their shape well .

Unlike wool or cashmere, the hair of the Alpaca is hollow. It's this inner air that gives the alpaca fiber its' ability to capture warmth. At the same time, the straightness of the fiber promotes the transfer of excess heat quickly along its' length, ie. across the body. These two characteristics together give Alpaca it's astonishing ability to transfer warmth from warm to cold parts of the body. Exactly what nature has evolved over thousands of years for this unique highland animal, the alpaca. Compared with wool, mohair, or cashmere, an Alpaca Sweater is also lighter.

These unique characteristics make Alpaca the ideal clothing fiber - for the whole year - winter or summer.

Exclusivity

The Alpaca animal is schorn only every two years, yielding 2 to 4 kg of fiber. Since only the best fibers from the shoulder and back are used in clothing products, you could estimate that one animal produces one sweater a year.

The demand for alpaca is constantly on the rise. But there are only three million alpacas worldwide. For this reason, this fine natural product will always be exclusive.

Colors

One animal may have a palette of three to four nuances. With hand sorting of the fibers, some twenty various melanges will be spun. Yarns range from a natural (usually somewhat creamy) white to many warm beige and brown tones, to shades of gray, some reddish, some with a rich rust- brown, to black.

With modern dying techniques, we now offer the full range of produced colors. We use reactive dyes, which are allergy free, and harmless for the environment.

Care

The unique distribution of natural lanolin within the alpaca hair structure, and the fineness of the alpaca hair, make the fiber extremely odour and stain resistant.

For the owner of an Alpaca garment, this means a minimum of care: a "bath" in fresh air over night is the best and least expensive cleaning. Also, hand washing (lay flat to dry) or a trip to the dry cleaners will never hurt Alpaca.

Our Yarns

We select for each of our alpaca creations a yarn suitable in weight, material composition, and spinning style. You will find the following yarns in our Collections.

Alpaca FS 2/16. The standard for sweaters, cardigans, stoles, skirts, and pants. With all the favourable characteristics explained above.

Baby Alpaca 2/28. A thinner fiber in a yarn spun thinner that FS 2/16 and so lighter, falling more fluidly over your body. Suitable for our Summer Alpaca models.

Baby Alpaca with Silk. This blend of 80% Baby Alpaca und 20% Silk is the finest, lightest yarn with which we work. Ideal throughout the year for sensitive skin, and simply ingenious for Summer Alpaca.

Incidentally, Baby Alpaca is not spun from the wool of young alpacas. Baby Alpaca is simply a trade term for the thinnest grading of alpaca fiber.

Alpaca Bouclé. This is an alpaca yarn which is spun especially loose, light and fluffy, also unevenly. The effect in a finished garment is a thick-fluffy Look, and an airy fleecy Feeling. The Alpaca Bouclé which we use for jackets and vests contains some synthetic yarn as well, in order to avoid weaknesses in the knitting where two thin lengths of yarn could randomly cross. This Alpaca Bouclé is made of 89% Alpaca FS 2/16 und 11% polyamide.

The Alpaca Bouclé which we use for scarves and stoles is 100% baby alpaca.