What is Alpaca Fleece and What is it Used For?

Alpaca fleece is gaining value in the textile and fashion industries.

Alpaca fleece is natural fiber obtained from the alpaca mammal species. The material can either be heavy or light depending on the spinning process. The yarn is spongy but hard-wearing. It is sleek and comparable to wool from sheep. However, alpaca wool is comparatively warm and not itchy. It does not contain any lanolin substance making it hypoallergenic. The fiber is resistant to water and does not catch fire easily.

Alpaca Fur Varieties

One variety of alpaca fur is called Huacaya. This is capable of growing thick, squishy fiber and possesses a natural crease. Hence, it is ideal for knitting purposes due to the natural expandable thread. On the other hand, Suri has the glossy pencil-like strands which look like matted coils of hair minus the fibers. The Suri is pricey and comprises at least 20 percent of the alpaca found in North America. It is quite rare perhaps because it was reserved for the royalty of Incan tribes. Among alpacas, the Suri has less tolerance to cold climatic conditions. However, it can be raised successfully under extreme weather conditions just like the Huacaya. Prominent Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani uses this unique fiber in expensive apparel for men and women.

Uses of Alpaca Fleece

Alpaca fleece can be utilized for different products. These can be simple and inexpensive garments or sophisticated suits. In the United States, groups of small businessmen have joined hands in breeding alpacas and create fiber cooperatives. Their intention was to bring down the cost of fiber manufacturing. Incidentally, the methodologies used in the preparation, carding, spinning, and weaving of alpaca are very similar to that of ordinary wool.

It is essential to perform a rapid assessment of fleece quality right during the shearing process. Expected uses for the alpaca fleece can be written on the storage bag tag. This will help facilitate skirting functions and facilitate the calculation of fiber volume for potential end products. The thinness of this fiber is measured in terms of microns which is the measurement of diameter equivalent to 1/1000 of one millimeter. The comfort factor is the fraction of fibers above 30 microns that is subtracted from 100%. Samples of alpaca fleece can be brought to laboratories for appropriate testing.

Alpaca wool can be employed for various purposes like the production of hats, mittens, scarves, jumpers, rugs and toy products. It is exceptionally unique because it has a partially empty core developed over time to protect the animal from the harshest weather conditions. Hence, alpaca fleece contains thermal properties which can keep the animal warm during winter and cool in summer. Compared to other natural threads, it has lightweight features and remarkably warm.

This type of wool absorbs dampness naturally of up to 30 percent of its weight. Alpaca fur can keep the person warm and dry during cold weather. It can offer the best kind of fiber for bed sheets and blankets. The comfortable softness is one of its excellent features. In fact, the authentic quilts of alpaca are softer than any other natural yarns in the world.