Alpaca wool is gaining more and more popularity for sustainable and slow-fashion apparel. The material is renowned for softness, warmth and hypoallergenic properties.
If you’re someone with sensitive skin or allergies then the concern about the itchiness of alpaca wool plays a role when selecting your next knit or scarf. In this blog post we will address these concerns by taking a closer look at alpaca wool as a fibre and how it compares to other natural fibres.
Understanding Alpaca Wool: What is it?
Alpacas are indigenous to the Peruvian Andes in South America. Alpacas are camelids, bred over 6000 years ago from vicunas (now under protection) for their truly soft wool, to clothe Incan royalty.
The native Highland origin has equipped alpaca wool with unique properties that we can now enjoy as part of our daily life, even without being royalty.
Alpaca Wool vs Other Natural Fibres
So what makes Alpaca wool stand out from other fibres? It is most often compared to sheep wools, such as Merino, or goat wools like Cashmere and Mohair. While all of these may associate in our minds as naturally wondrous materials, alpaca takes the throne as the softest and most comfortable material.
Skin Sensitivity and Allergy Considerations with Alpaca Wool
Softness can be relative to personal perception, but factors such as fibre diameter and surface texture play a role. Alpaca wool is naturally lustrous, light, soft and has excellent thermoregulating and moisture-wicking properties.
The smooth fibre is hollow inside, offering up to 7 times more warmth than sheep wool while also being more lightweight. Skin irritation is at a minimum with alpaca wool as the fine diameter of the fibre allows for gentle bending during skin contact, maintaining softness.
A fine fibre means better suitability for sensitive skin.
Is Alpaca Wool Hypoallergenic?
Since alpaca wool lacks lanolin, a waxy substance that is a common allergen for some individuals, it is considered to be hypoallergenic for most people. However, it is important to note that some people may still experience an allergic reaction to certain proteins in the fibre.
Addressing Concerns about Alpaca Wool Itchiness
Many people perceive alpaca wool to be itch-free. What factors affect itchiness and how can this be possible? Unlike other wool fibres, alpaca is not as itchy, specifically because the fine and sleek alpaca fibre has a smooth surface and it also lacks lanolin.
Lanolin is a natural oil that can act as an irritant, causing itching and discomfort. Alpaca wool is a hollow fibre that is better at regulating body temperature than other wools. This means you are less likely to overheat or feel uncomfortable when you’re wearing alpaca wool clothing.
It is worth noting that alpaca wool can come in a variety of grades and qualities. A higher-grade fibre equals an even softer feel. Look for ‘’ baby alpaca’’ or ‘’royal alpaca’’ in composition as these are the softest and finest fibres.
Alpaca wool has a lot smaller itch factor compared to lambswool as alpaca wool fibres are very fine with a notably smoother scale surface.
Alpaca Yarn, Hats and other products: Comfort factors
This moisture-wicking, breathable and hypoallergenic fibre can be made into knits, accessories and interior textiles. The physical ease and relaxation that the embrace of alpaca wool items provides is the embodiment of comfort.
As a brand we aim to inspire a more sustainable and responsible approach to consumption by capturing the beauty of nature in transseasonal items that are durable, functional, versatile and offer real emotional value to you.
From hats to blankets, alpaca wool offers outstanding softness, warmth, and durability. An excellent choice for sustainable and high-quality items that offer a luxurious feel, made to be enjoyed for years to come.
Is Alpaca Wool Itchy? The Final Answer
Alpaca wool is a finer and softer alternative to other wools. The lustrous and distinctively silky alpaca wool is warm, thermo-regulating and effortlessly wicks excess moisture – maintaining a comfortable atmosphere on the skin.
These qualities make it a sought-after material when it comes to lifestyle products. While the itch can be subject to personal perception, people who enjoy wool products consider alpaca to be itch-free.