What is Alpaca Wool Hair Fabric?
Alpaca Wool Hair fabric is one of the natural fibres that is derived from Alpaca fur. Alpacas are camelid mammals that are native to South America. Wool from Alpaca hair is really soft and stands out to be more durable as compared to traditional sheep wool.
Peru, stands as the largest Producer of Alpaca Fibre. Around 87 percent of the Total Population of Alpacas live in Peru. The country also accounts for a whopping 90% of Alpaca Wool Shipment to the rest of the world.
Alpaca has two different breeds that are Huacaya Alpaca and Suri Alpaca. Both of these breeds are domesticated to obtain Natural fibres from their fur and both of them are equally good.
However there is a certain difference between the fabric made from Huacaya Alpaca and Suri Alpaca:
- Huacaya Alpaca : The distinct feature of Wool made from Fur of Huacaya Alpaca is that it is spongy and naturally Crimps, which when weaving it develops a wave -like appearance. This makes thewool more elastic and easy to knit.
- Suri Alpaca : The Wool made from Suri Alpaca Fur is more suitable to weave as it does not develop any kind of Crimp. The Garments made from this type of wool are simple and crude.
Alpaca fabric is prized around the world because of its premium feel and excellent quality. It is highly demanded by the Customers from developed Nations and grabs up a higher price as compared to other Wool fabrics.
- What is Alpaca Wool Hair Fabric?
- How is Alpaca Wool Hair Fabric made?
- History and Origins of Alpaca Wool Hair Fabric.
- Advantages of Alpaca Wool Hair Fabric
- Disadvantages of Alpaca Wool Hair Fabric
- Fabric Applications of Alpaca Wool Hair Fabric
- Some Iconic apparel products made of Alpaca Wool hair fabric
- Some Popular Brands that use Alpaca Wool Hair Fabric
- Suppliers of Alpaca Wool Hair Fabric
- Some myths and FAQ about Alpaca Wool Hair Fabric.
How is Alpaca Wool Hair Fabric made?
#1. Shearing the Alpaca :
- First and foremost the wool from Alpaca fur is shorn with the help of special scissors. The Process of shearing is done very carefully with hands to avoid any harm to the Alpaca.
#2. Carding :
- After shearing the Alpaca hair, the wool fibres derived from it are to straighten out in uniform direction by combing them thoroughly.
#3. Spinning :
- Once the Wool fibres are carded, they are further sent to spun in yarn. Now there can be two methods for spinning at this stage, First one which is an indigenous method where a device known as “Pushka” similar to drop spindle is used to spin the carded wool fibres into a single thick fibre with the help of Gravity. Or the second method where advanced modern Treadle Wheel does the job of Spinning the wool. In South American countries like Peru, Indigenous method using Pushka is still relevant and practised.
#4. Washing :
- After spinning the wool we have the fine yarn which is then to be washed properly to remove the impurities. In Peru the indigenous population still relies on natural washing substances made from wild Flora around them for washing the yarn.
#5. Finishing :
- As you may have guessed, The washed yarn from Alpaca fabric is now air dried and is ready to be formed into finished textile.
History and Origins of Alpaca Wool Hair Fabric.
Also known as “The fibre of the gods” Alpaca fabric has been known to be used since ancient times. The indigenous Tribes and population around used to domesticate Alpacas and harvest their fur to make Royal Garments. It was the prominent choice of the Inca royalty and was considered as a symbol of richness and power.
Historical roots of Domestication of Alpacas can be found in Wari civilization that ruled in the Andes around 600-1000 CE. The most important event in the history of Alpaca wool took place in the 16th Century when The Spanish arrived in Peru. They were quick to realise the Value of Alpaca Fabric and started exporting it to Europe where it was an instant hit amongst the Rich and wealthy class.
However, In recent times alpacas have been exported to different regions around the world and alpaca hair wool fibre has become renowned around the globe. It was in the beginning of the 18th century when Alpaca Wool was first manufactured in the west.
The Historical significance of Alpaca Hair wool fabric is very deeply integrated in the culture of Andean region in South America.
Advantages of Alpaca Wool Hair Fabric
Alpaca Wool Hair fabric has numerous advantages over other fabrics such as :-
- Wool derived from Alpaca fur has numerous little air pockets all over it, which ensures it’s excellent breathability.
- Alpaca hair fabric also has excellent warming effects as it is known as one of the most warm animal fibres. It has a high insulative property.
- Due to the absence of Lanolin, Alpaca fabric is also Hypoallergenic.
- Alpaca fabric boasts durability and does not degenerate in the long run.
- Alpaca wool fibre due to its breathability and lightweight properties becomes an excellent choice for Active wear and its Moisture Wicking ability makes it desirable for Sports wear.
Disadvantages of Alpaca Wool Hair Fabric
- The major disadvantage of Alpaca fabric is its cost. As it is one of the most premium fabrics around the world, therefore it is also very costly.
- Another thing that holds back People from choosing Alpaca fabric is the need for maintenance and care involved to preserve its quality.
- Alpaca hair wool fabric is also not readily available as compared to other fabrics.
Fabric Applications of Alpaca Wool Hair Fabric
Alpaca Wool hair fabric has similar uses as other prominent animal fabrics. Alpaca wool is mostly used in applications where Heat retention is desired.
- Alpaca fabric is widely used in making sweaters, gloves and shawls
- It is also one of the top choices for making Mittens.
- Alpaca hair wool has the ability to be spun into really fine yarn which may not be possible with sheep wool.
- Alpaca hair wool fabric is used to make Sportcoats and Sportswear due to its excellent breathability. It can also be formed in different types of bedding sheets.
Some Iconic apparel products made of Alpaca Wool hair fabric
#1. Scarves :
Scarves made from Alpaca Wool are premium, stylish and comfortable. They can be an excellent Fashion apparel and are available in diverse colours and patterns.
#2. Ponchos :
Ponchos made from Alpaca fabric are versatile, lightweight and highly comfortable to wear. They are a popular choice for daily wear around the world.
#3. Sweaters :
Sweater made from Alpaca Wool are an excellent choice for setting a fashion statement in Winters. These sweaters provide warmth and feel premium at the same time.
#4. Mittens/Gloves :
Alpaca Wool fabric is a favourite choice for making Mittens. They feel extremely soft and warm and are available in a variety of styles.
#5. Knitted Hats / Winter Caps :
Caps and hats made from Alpaca Wool fabric are perfectly adept for keeping your head safe from chilled breeze in winters
Some Popular Brands that use Alpaca Wool Hair Fabric
- Indigenous : Indigenous is an American brand which was founded in 1993 in California. Its Founders Scott Leonard and Matt Reynolds had a vision to develop a brand that provides fashion in an sustainable and ethical way.
- PAKA : PAKA is a Peruvian Brand which was founded by Kris Cody back in 2017 through Crowdfunding. Today it is selling Activewear made from Alpaca wool all around the world.
- Eileen Fisher : Eileen Fisher is an American Brand which was founded by the famous fashion designer Elieen Fisher herself back in 1984 with a vision to create sustainable clothing for womens.
Suppliers of Alpaca Wool Hair Fabric
- Tissura : It is a well established supplier of High end Alpaca wool hair fabrics from Europe and Peru. They offer a wide and varied collection of fabrics to choose from. click here to visit the website tissura.com
- Incalpaca : This is a well known Peruvian Company which produces Luxury Alpaca wool Hair fabrics that are soft ,warm and durable. click here to visit the website incalpaca.com
- Andean crafts : This is another Peruvian Company which sells a wide variety of Alpaca Wool hair fabric and products made from it like Blankets and Ponchos.
- Wool & Prince: This is a US based Company that offers a variety of Alpaca wool clothing items like sweaters, Cardigans, Scarves and Coats. click here to visit the website woolandprince.com
- The Alpaca yarn company : This is a United Kingdom based Company who offer a variety of Alpaca fabrics and wool yarns made from Alpaca fur.
- If you want more Suppliers of Alpaca Wool Hair Fabric list click here to contact us
Some myths and FAQ about Alpaca Wool Hair Fabric.
Myth : The Process of Shearing Harms Alpaca.
Fact : Shearing is done in an ethical and careful way which causes no harm to Alpacas.
Myth : Alpaca Fabric can cause allergic reactions.
Fact : Alpaca fabric is free from lanolin which makes it Hypoallergenic and is safe to wear.
Myth : Alpaca Wool causes devastating impact on Environment
Fact : The Process of Harvesting Wool from Alpaca has a negligible effect on Environment.
How much does an Alpaca cost?
Alpaca cost varies in the range of $5,000-$15,000 based on various parameters like Age, breed, Health etc.
How do I clean Alpaca fabric apparels and clothes?
Clothes Made from Alpaca Fabric should be washed with Warm Water and non- harsh Soaps and detergents.
How much does Alpaca Wool Cost ?
The Price of Alpaca wool varies according to its Thickness. High quality thinner fibre can be sold at $2 and $4 per ounce while its average whole-sale Price is around $0.75 per ounce.