All About Alpaca: Variations, Grades and Spins
Alpaca is changing. When we started in 1984, alpaca came in one grade, called Superfine. Now, factories in Peru have upgraded their machinery to the state of the art, and spin alpaca yarn in many different grades and blends. Pure alpaca comes in Superfine, Baby and Royal (from regular to finest) and it is also blended with wool, acrylic, nylon and silk. Minimums are often high and delays can be long, but the influx of new spins has generated new looks and possibilities for what used to be a staid, if beautiful, fibre. Here are some of the sweaters we carry in the various forms of Alpaca.
Superfine: The Max is a Scandinavian-style pullover with all the good qualities of classic Superfine alpaca: softness, silkiness and amazing durability.
Baby Alpaca: Spoiler alert: Baby alpaca is not actually made from baby alpacas. It’s a finer grade of alpaca that is softer than superfine and lends itself to finer-gauge yarns spun at a higher twist. The Reversible Arabesque Cardigan is knit of fine-gauge baby alpaca with identical hand-embroidery on both sides.
Brushed Baby Alpaca Cardigan: This is a thicker-gauge but fluffier spin of Baby Alpaca. It’s brushed after spinning to give it an airy feel and an exquisite cashmere-like touch.
Pujpu: This is a lightweight mix of 70% baby alpaca with 7% wool and 23% nylon. It’s a less dense yarn, which gives it a lighter weight for cable and other heavy designs that would sag in other spins. Extremely soft to the touch. The Pujpu Cable Tunic is light and comfortable despite is dense texture and length.
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