October 24, 2022
Why Alpaca Wool Is So Superior
Chez SANNA, we cannot get enough of our natural alpaca wool scarves from Alpaca Loca. Alpaca wool has many benefits: it is soft, warm and itch-free, hypoallergenic, durable and easy to clean. Using alpaca wool isn’t only good for the wearer, but it also helps the environment as it is biodegradable, animal-friendly, natural and supports indigenous people.
Here are a couple more reasons why you should incorporate more alpaca wool into your life:
1. Alpaca wool is hypoallergenic
Wool-allergies are caused by a negative reaction to lanolin, which is a natural grease that all wool-bearing animals have on their fur. The amount of lanolin that is found on a finished garment made with alpaca wool is so minimal that it is safe to wear for people with wool-allergies!
2. Alpaca wool can be worn year-round
Thanks to alpaca wool’s thermoregulating features, it can be worn year-round, even in summer! Alpaca woolen products protect you from the direct sunlight and prevent your body from heating up. And, despite (or thanks to) its insulating properties, alpaca woolen products don’t feel clammy or sweaty. In fact, alpaca woolen garments are highly breathable and will make you feel perfectly comfortable. And especially in winter, alpaca wool products are very warm and keep the wearer snug and comfortable on cold days. According to Wild Hair Alpacas, Yocum-McCall Testing Laboratories have reported that wearing alpaca woolen items in an atmosphere of 0°F (-17.78°C), gives you a comfort range of about 50°F (10°C) degrees.
3. Alpaca wool is water-repellent, odor-repellent, & stain-repellent
It is almost as if alpaca wool is invincible! It is protected from water, wind and even from smells!
The unique texture of alpaca wool makes alpaca woolen garments water-repellent—the tiny scales on an alpaca hair are so small that very little liquid can get absorbed by the fiber. While eventually all liquids can (and will!) get absorbed, it takes a long time before an alpaca woolen garment feels wet. On top of that, the smooth fiber texture helps wick away moisture first. This adds to the fiber’s ability to remain dry while being exposed to water (rain or sweat) for a longer period of time.
Alpaca woolen products are protected from smells to a high degree. Smells do not penetrate the fiber easily and it is therefore protected from strong odors, such as sweat, smoke and perfume.
And finally, as the proud owner of an alpaca woolen garment, you don’t need to worry about ruining an alpaca woolen garment by staining it. Alpaca woolen garments are stain-resistant to a high degree (when stains are treated IMMEDIATELY).
4. Alpaca wool is durable
Alpaca wool is known for its fiber length: the fibers can grow to be very long, 6-7 cm minimally, and when alpaca fibers are spun, they are twisted together, which makes them even stronger.
So, an alpaca woolen garment is generally strong and durable. High quality wool should last a lifetime when it is treated with care! (read more about how to care your your wool garments here).
5. Alpaca wool is biodegradable
Undyed alpaca woolen products are biodegradable. This means that when they are disposed of, nature can break down the fibers by itself without leaving any toxic waste. Before disposing of your wool, make sure to check for the following things:
- Organically dyed
- Organically washed
- Organically treated
- Unblended (or blended with natural fibers)
6. Alpaca wool doesn’t require a chemical production process
The process of making alpaca wool is very natural and does not require a lot of chemicals. The substance that can make wool hard to clean and work with is lanolin. Given its greasy texture, lanolin can cause dirt, grass and dust to collect in the fleece. The cleaning process for large scale production is to expose the fleece to a highly chemical detergent that gets rid of all the unwanted parts of the wool fiber.
Luckily, alpaca wool does not require harsh detergents nor chemicals because of the lack of lanolin, therefore the production process is therefore a lot cleaner.
7. Alpaca wool is (often) fair-trade
Since the majority of alpaca wool producers come from South America, you will find many brands that have started their own, local projects to empower the local people. This makes alpaca woolen products an easy choice when it comes to a happy and honest production chain. For example, we are proud to support Alpaca Loca, a Dutch brand producing luxury Alpaca wool scarves and blankets, handmade in Ecuador by a community of weavers. The owner, Annemarie, makes regular visits to the factory and ensures that the weavers receive fair salaries and have good working conditions. Your purchase directly contributes to Ecuador’s economic growth and alleviates the poverty of alpaca herders.
Shop our full natural alpaca wool collection from Alpaca Loca here!