Hypoallergenic Baby Alpaca and Bamboo Clothing

3rd March 2014

There is a lot of talk about bamboo just now and because my signature yarn now includes bamboo, I thought it worthy of some discussion here. A lot of our customers have eczema, sensitive skins and skin allergies (including Gemma and me!) and the combination of Alpaca and Bamboo seems to work wonders!

Since 2003, I concentrated on 100% Baby Alpaca (not to be confused with ordinary Alpaca, sometimes known as Superfine Alpaca which is courser and less soft). Baby Alpaca is a beautiful soft buttery fine micron yarn, hard wearing, with a high warmth to weight ratio, little prickle factor and very “pilling” resistant. It is also available in a wealth of earthy natural colours.

I work closely with the professional yarn manufacturers in Peru, and keep up to date with new yarns in development and was very impressed when, a few years ago, they handed me a swatch of 70% Baby Alpaca, 30% Bamboo viscose. I was considering moving to Baby Alpaca and Silk at the time, which is one of the smoothest most luxurious alpaca yarns on the market, but this was something different. The handle was the same as Baby Alpaca and Silk – beautiful, silky heavy drape, lustrous sheen, no prickle factor – but with a whole new story.

I prepared samples in both Baby Alpaca & Bamboo and Baby Alpaca & Silk and presented them for comparison by a focus group. No one could detect the difference and all agreed that the Bamboo added a contemporary, ecological story to my product. I also presented 100% Baby Alpaca samples alongside for comment. The feedback was very much in favour of the new Bamboo yarn which lended a new, less hairy, less bulky quality to the scarves, cardigans, sweaters, gloves, socks and throws. The opinion was that the items draped better, had a stunning lustre to them, were silkier and more supple, but most interestingly, much gentler and softer on the skin.

After a few hours of wear, one lady who had an allergy to wool and who previously found that 100% Baby Alpaca caused a mild irritation in the skin around her neck, had no allergic reaction at all to the new Baby Alpaca and Bamboo scarf. I have also had a number of ladies who lost their hair after chemotherapy and whose skins have become allergic to ordinary sheep’s wool, find my hats very kind on their skin. It seems that more and more people are having to be careful what they wear next to their skin these days. I’m glad to be producing a product which any skin type can wear!