A Look at Alpaca Baby Clothing16th September 2010
Despite our best hopes it seems that the summer is drawing to a close, and it will soon be time to start getting out your warmer winter knits! Lots of people buy knitted items for babies during the autumn and winter, such as babygros, hats and baby booties. Knitted items are soft and store heat well, and woollen baby booties are perfect for little feet that are quickly developing. Children should generally be barefoot as much as possible as they learn to walk, to help them develop a good natural balance and learn about surface textures. Woollen baby booties are soft and will let the feet move and flex freely, whilst also letting the skin breathe.
Whilst wool is a great natural fibre to use for baby booties and other clothing, it can sometimes be a little harsh on delicate young skin. Alpaca wool is a great alternative to sheep or lamb’s wool, as it does not contain lanolin which some people can have an allergy to. Alpaca fibres are very long, silky and lustrous, almost like human hair. This makes alpaca wool and clothing very fine and silky, and completely eradicates the itchiness that is associated with other wool blends.
Lots of people are becoming interested in natural and organic fibres such as cotton, and alpaca wool can be incredibly pure if it is bought in a natural colour. Alpaca fibres come in many different natural shades, from black and white to grey, cream and all shades of brown. Cream alpaca wool may be perfect for baby booties and other clothing, and lots of parents would prefer to dress their newborns in 100% natural fabrics. With so many shades available, alpaca wool does not need the addition of harsh chemical dyes to create lovely colours; however it is also possible to find baby clothing that has been dyed blue or pink for example, often with pure natural dyes.
Alpaca is a great choice of fabric, as you can be assured that the animals it is taken from are well cared for and nurtured. Alpacas live for around twenty years, and produce a new coat annually so they are never killed for their fur; keeping an alpaca healthy and well is of much more value than a single pelt. The first time a young alpaca is sheared the fleece that is collected is known as ‘baby alpaca’. This is considered to be the finest and silkiest coat, as the fibres then get slightly thicker and tougher with age. Baby alpaca is a little more expensive to buy than regular alpaca wool, due to the rare supply of baby alpaca. However, many people like to invest in a quality shawl or blanket which will last them many years to come. Alpaca wool is incredibly hard wearing and durable, and is not susceptible to bobbling and pulling like other wools. This makes it perfect for baby booties, clothing and blankets, which will be stretched, pulled and washed many times as your child grows!