- Alpaca Fibre
In the world of textiles Alpaca is classed as one of the noble fibres such as cashmere and mohair.
As with other natural fibres there is a wide range of quality and grade. Unusually, the alpaca also has a wide natural colour range with approximately 23 accepted shades ranging from white through all the shades of fawns and browns, greys and into black.
The finest, softest and best is known as white superfine alpaca. Each hair will be around 14 micron and should be about 4 – 5 inches in length at the time of shearing. This grade of fleece is also known as cria fleece. Cria is the term for a baby alpaca in its first year.
Superfine fleece is used for fine couture clothing and superior yarns. The first grade alpaca has a wider range of uses including use as a filling for higher quality products such as duvets.
Usually, second and third grade alpaca is sourced from the legs, under belly and from older animals. With this fibre the micron count is found to be much higher than the fleece from younger animals. This type of fibre is not suitable for duvets and bedding from Alpaca Comfort.
At Alpaca Comfort we source alpaca fleece from all over the UK. We visit around 400 farms each year and buy fleece direct from the farmers. We then sort, grade and prepare the fleeces for either sale into the world market, or for use in our duvets. In this way we ensure we use the best fleece available for use in our bedding and duvets.
The alpaca fleece has very low lanolin content (dry fleece). It is resistant to dust mites. It is also a medullated fibre. This means that the medulla in the centre of the fibre has fractured off as the fleece grows crating empty pockets along the length of each hair. This makes alpaca a naturally hollow fibre. On the outside of each fibre there are less scales than other natural fibres. This makes for a smooth soft to touch fibre which is also durable. The lower friction between the fibres prevents wear as the fibres pass each other. All these properties give the alpaca duvet far less allergens than man-made fibres and most other natural fibres.
The medullated fibre also gives the alpaca duvets greater warmth than other duvets but the moisture absorption and wicking properties means that the duvet works with your body at maintaining an ambient temperature and a superbly comfortable night’s sleep.