When most people think of a soft, stylish luxury fiber their minds tend to venture into the world of cashmere apparel. However, alpaca has been steadily gaining ground growing in popularity as a high-end resource for fashion designers and savvy people who appreciate high-quality clothing. In fact, when really delving into the integrity of cashmere and alpaca, there are numerous reasons why alpaca fiber has gotten a firm foothold as another premium luxury option. Here are four of them.
Alpaca Sweaters are Extremely High Quality
Imagine a sweater that is amazingly durable yet silky and soft to the touch. Alpaca clothing offers near-cashmere softness with an extraordinarily long life. Alpaca wool is similar to sheep’s wool, but warmer and softer. It’s also extremely stain-resistant. Formerly, alpaca fleece was separated by species, depending on the which kind of apparel was being made. For example, Huacaya alpaca grows spongy soft fiber with a natural crimp making it ideal for knitted alpaca cardigans and all types of sweaters, while Suri alpaca has no crimp and is therefore ideal for woven items like alpaca scarves and cloth. Now, advanced industrial spinning techniques achieve uniform qualities based on fiber length and thickness.
Alpaca Supports Green Sustainability and Social Responsibility
Eco-aware clothing is gaining popularity; consumers are more cognizant of the environmental impacts of the chic clothing they pull off the rack. Because alpaca clothing production goes hand-in-hand with land conservation, pollution reduction, and long term value, alpaca sweaters are a good choice reduce their carbon footprint. When you buy alpaca clothing you also cast a vote for animal rights, as alpaca are one of the world’s oldest livestock and roam naturally in their native environment, happily giving up their thick annual growth in the most humane and pain-free method. Likewise, the long life of alpaca garments is the direct opposite of wasteful “flash fashion” that is used for a few months and then thrown away.
Alpaca Wool is Used by Top Fashion Designers
Cashmere has long been sported on every fashion runway, but todays top fashion labels incorporate alpaca fleece into their lines for its luxurious allure. Armani and Brunello Cucinelli use alpaca wool to make suits while Sergio Davila, a Peruvian native, places his homeland center stage at New York’s fashion week by including an entire line of alpaca clothing, while designers like Eileen Fisher and Max Mara feature alpaca coats. Other brands to use alpaca fiber include Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, and Gucci.
Alpaca Clothing Provides Economic Relief
Finally, alpaca is an excellent purchase due to its contribution to economic and environmental sustainability. Thousands of alpacas are raised by small ranches and family farms throughout Peru. When you buy alpaca sweaters, hats and scarfs your purchase helps to support those families and enable them to stay on their land in their traditional lifestyle. Your purchases also help to provide needed cash to the rural economy, because as these family farms prosper, so do the businesses and farmers who help supply alpaca ranches. The next time you put on an alpaca wool sweater, poncho or ruana wrap, crack a smile and pat yourself on the back because, not only did your purchase make your own world a bit more beautiful, it also helped make the bigger world a slightly better place.
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