WHY CHOOSE ALPACA FIBRE?
Alpacas originate from South America it is smaller than the more well-known Llama and was bred more for their meat rather than as a pack animal. The fibre was worn by royalty and they were precious for religious reasons.
There are two types of alpaca the warmer plush, teddy bear type - Huacayas and Suris with more the less elastic thinner tassel or dreadlock fleece.
Stillpacas has Huacayas.
Alpaca fibre is hollow so technically a hair rather than a wool. The hollowness of the fibre makes it warmer than sheep’s wool.
The fibre is measured in microns where 1 micron is 1/1000 of a millimetre. Most human hair is 100 microns.
Alpaca fibre measures 12 microns (royal alpaca) to 35 microns (very coarse). The fibre from the torso of the body (blanket) has the best fibre with the lowest micron with cria (baby alpaca) having the lowest micron value. Fibre from the bottom, neck and legs are coarser with a higher micron value.
The lower the micron the finer the fibre, the better the quality and the softer generated yarn.
Stillpacas only uses blanket fibre in its yarn production. The rest of the fibre is available for crafts such as felting, hand spinning, jewellery making, filling and other possibilities limited only by the imagination.
Alpaca fibre, unlike wool, has no lanolin which is the oil in sheep’s wool some people can be allergic to.