Why an Alpaca Blanket is Better24th June 2009
Why an Alpaca Blanket is Better The superior quality of an alpaca blanket makes it a treasured accessory for staying warm at home, particularly in the winter months. Alpaca wool is a fine fabric that has many desirable qualities, and if properly cared for, blankets and other garments will provide years of durable comfort.
The wool sheared from alpacas is lighter, three times stronger, and five times warmer than sheep’s wool. Of all the warmest fabrics used in winter blankets, alpaca products outshine Gore- Tex and goose-down comforters in their ability to keep people warm and dry. It feels smooth like silk, yet as fine as cashmere. The absence of lanolin creates an anti-itch fabric, and its essential oils resist water and surface dirt naturally.
Alpaca fabrics are rated in microns, and the higher grades of Royal and Baby Alpaca are rated to a standard between twenty and twenty-three microns. These would be the softest, lightest, most durable grades to be found when choosing an alpaca blanket or garment, and some people are more than willing to pay the higher price for this level of quality.
Some of the other products made from alpaca fleece are quilt batting, clothing, pillows, yarn, sofa throws, and even cuddly stuffed animals for kids. Because alpaca wool is so soft, it is a popular choice to make alpaca blankets for babies. You can even find christening blankets made from alpaca wool, too.
Most of the world’s alpaca wool comes from the region where almost all of the animals are raised, the highlands of the Andes Mountains. Since the animals are only sheared once a year, much of the fibre that comes from Peru and the surrounding area is exported to many other clothing manufacturers around the globe.
Alpacas are gentle, lovable creatures raised on farms in many different countries. There are several different breeds of alpacas, and each has a slightly different fleece texture. Their variety as a species produces fleece in 22 different natural colors, from white to black. Their diet consists of mostly grasses and hay, and their close relation to the camel family allows them to consume less water than other animals do.
Their efficient digestion systems and low maintenance needs make them excellent choices for breeding purposes, and their agriculture poses little risk to humans.
There are specific organizations that monitor and advocate standards for alpaca wool manufacture and animal care, including the International Alpaca Association and the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association. These organizations help educate consumers, breeders, and textile manufacturers on all aspects of breeding and processing fibre from these wonderful animals.
Making an alpaca blanket or any other clothing or furnishing represents a proactive movement toward “green” manufacturing that allows companies to produce their goods more cheaply and offer products with less synthetic contents. This is the trend that is influencing many other industries as the world becomes more eco-conscious in the 21st century.