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alpaca vs merino

Stay updated on our new all-natural dyed performance apparel! While it might be convenient to run to any clothing store and purchase woolen outerwear before going hiking or camp ing, first, consider the benefits and drawbacks of alpaca vs wool.. When the chill of winter hits the air, turn down your thermostat, snuggle up and feel the warmth of alpaca. In addition, the micron size (the measure of width of one individual fiber) of alpaca and wool fibers utilized for outdoor apparel is comparable. Our hats will help keep you warm and dry no matter the conditions. ALPACA VS MERINO. One of the big differences between these two types of wool is that alpaca fibers are hollow and merino wool’s fibers are not. I have an electric blue hoody and I haven’t taken it off since I got it. Get ready – we’re about to drop some technical knowledge. By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol. Hopefully we’ve convinced you just how amazing alpaca fiber is. Alpaca wool (particularly the royal alpaca and baby alpaca fiber grades) is non-itchy, warm, and performs better than merino and other types of sheep's wool. Retains Less Water: Alpaca fibers are considered extremely water resistant, while staying highly breathable. The waviness of the fibers traps tiny pockets of air between the fibers in a weave; these air pockets are heated by your body and stay warm. Smaller micron diameters yield softer fiber “handle,” and the average of most wool and alpaca fibers used in base layers and mid layers is generally between 18-22 microns. It answers a lot of questions and misconceptions. good for the environment). This soft fiber comes from Merino sheep, mostly found in Australia and New Zealand. Merino needs to be processed because it can be spun to a yard and because the wool needs scouring to get rid of the fatty grease lanolin. SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER AND GET 10% OFF YOUR FIRST ORDER! Go ahead and put some serious pack miles on your All-Paca – it can handle it. Fiber Strength Excellent Moderate Alpaca fiber is very strong resulting in more durable apparel. Thermal Insulation Excellent Moderate Alpaca fiber is very fine... between 16 and 30 microns, and has a unique hollow insulating core. Stronger: Alpaca fibers have a higher tensile strength than merino, meaning they can stand up to more pressure or tension before breaking. The popularity hasn't gone down much but the new player i.e. Like hair from goats and rabbits, it needs less preparatory steps compared to wool, and the hair from Alpaca hair is a natural hypoallergenic, arguably making it superior to cashmere. “Prove it!” you say. We offer a quality range of 100% alpaca wool socks and hats for men. More Environmentally Sustainable: The processing of alpaca fibers into All-Paca fabric does not require any harsh chemical treatments or added synthetics, such as those used in the merino “superwash” process, to make it soft, wearable, and washable. But the difference is in the internal structure of the fibers: Alpaca fibers have those “semi-hollow” cores mentioned above, while merino relies only on the crimp of the fibers to trap warm air. While Cashmere's strength comes in its softness and feel, giving comfort and breathability to the user. But alpaca wool doesn’t need any special treatment: it’s naturally super soft and even less itchy. Alpaca socks are silkier than merino ones, which helps provide a cushion against callus buildup, preventing corns and blisters. So there you have it. Soft and cuddly moments are guaranteed. It’s rare to find an piece of clothing you absolutely love. Alpaca wool is warmer, lighter, softer and stronger than merino wool After looking at all these aspects, it seems obvious that cashmere doesn't have the right properties to be used in outdoor gear. Alpaca has stolen a lot of hearts. It’s also a more environmentally sustainable option when you look at the overall impact. Jun 4, 2020 - Alpaca wool is one of the softest commercial fibres. Now let’s get started! Softer: Alpaca fibers have a smoother and more uniform surface then merino, so they are less “prickly” to the touch. On the top alpaca wool is considered to be a flame-resistant fibre, even though merino wool bears a high level of fire resistance as well. 82% Superfine Alpaca, 13% Merino Wool, 5% Nylon Fingering Weight Alpaca Cloud Lace Yarn. $7.99 / 50g hank 100% Baby Alpaca Lace Weight Shimmer Lace Yarn. Softer: Alpaca fibers have a smoother and more uniform surface then merino, so they are less “prickly” to the touch. OK – we will. Whether made of alpaca wool or cashmere, it does not detract from wearing comfort. This makes alpaca wool perfect for your outdoor clothing, Women's Sports Bra, Underwear, Socks, and More. The three most common types of mid layers found in an outdoor enthusiast’s wardrobe are down-insulated, Merino wool and fleece.We know them all, from puffy down jackets to comfy fleece zips and vests to sleek Merino mid layers. We are not trying to say that say merino wool is not warm, because it certainly is! We also compare alpaca to merino wool, often the fiber of choice for travel, outdoor activies and adventure sports. Alpaca wool is naturally temperature regulated because of the crimp and semi-hollow core. FIND OUT WHY. Wool fibers work so well as insulators as they are not straight, but instead have slight wave (know technically as the “crimp”), along their length. The camelids (alpaca and llama) are quite similar to each other in fiber and background, and though they bear some similarity to sheep, the differences between the fibers of these herding animals are outstanding. On average, studies have shown that alpaca fibers have a tensile strength in the general range of 50 N/ktex, which measures how many Newtons of force, “N,” are required to break a fiber of a given thickness measured in kilotex, “ktex.” Merino wool has a tensile strength in the general range of 30-40 N/ktex. That means alpaca dries faster and insulates better than merino when wet. There’s a reason alpacas flourish in South America’s Andes Mountains…they were engineered by nature to thrive in harsh conditions. Alpaca Fleece comes from the Alpaca, a native of South America and a member of the cameloid family (Cameloids also include camels and llamas). Merino wool has the following characteristics: Alpaca and llama fleece are classified as specialty or luxury fibers, but sheep fleece or wool tops the list of animal fibers used today. Merino wool comes from Merino sheep, an ancient breed originally from Spain, but now raised worldwide. They are also naturally free of lanolin, a wax found in sheep’s wool that can … Alpaca Knitting & Crochet Yarn & Wool. This difference also means merino wool is heavier than alpaca wool. 10 (100% Mercerized Cotton) 50g : Knit Picks Gloss Lace (70% Merino Wool, 30% Silk) 50g: $7.99 Merino wool and alpaca fleece are natural, sustainable products (i.e. Merino wool is associated with the ultimate in fine, soft, low-itch sheep wool. Alpaca weaving is a traditional craft, done using sustainable methods, which puts it under the desirable "fair trade" banner. However, merino wool used in outdoor clothing tends to be very fine (around 19-20 microns in diameter) and has usually been treated to remove the lanolin and fiber scales, so it feels much softer and less itchy than other types of sheep’s wool. Alpaca fibers can be very fine and soft, but also quite itchy, and thus less likely to be used … In most wool fibers, the filaments are packed together, making them appear to have a solid cross-section under the microscope. These hollow voids trap air, which, in turn, increases the fiber’s thermal properties and creates a warmer experience for the wearer. However, once you put your alpaca base layer on, it warms up very quickly to protect you from the cold. Alpaca vs. Cashmere: What’s the Difference? I found mine at https://alpacasofmontana.com/. Bottom line: YES! We’ve written about the properties of alpaca fibers before, but we’ve never fully explained why our product line includes Alpaca, Merino, and Shetland wools, but no Cashmere. That would make alpaca wool warmer than merino wool. Additionally, the raising and grazing of alpacas has a very low environmental impact compared to sheep, which have been shown in studies to have a significant environmental impact. It would take serious effort to get your All-Paca soaking wet, and even if you did, it would dry extremely fast. Alpaca is South American camelid (the nearest famous relative of alpaca is a camel), who lives high in the Andes mountains and has a more likely look of a sheep with a long neck. It produced 7,500 Yards of finest Alpaca and Mohair per day . April 18, 2018. That’s because they only absorb about 10-11% +/-  of their weight in water, compared to merino wool at about 30%. Enter your email below: MEN'S ALPACA WOOL HOODIE: 230 LIGHTWEIGHT HALF-ZIP, MEN'S ALPACA WOOL T-SHIRT: 110 ULTRALIGHT CREW NECK, MEN'S ALPACA WOOL LEGGINGS: 230 LIGHTWEIGHT, MEN'S ALPACA WOOL BOXER BRIEFS: 110 ULTRALIGHT, WOMEN'S ALPACA WOOL HOODIE: 230 LIGHTWEIGHT HALF-ZIP, WOMEN'S ALPACA WOOL SHIRT: 110 ULTRALIGHT V-NECK, WOMEN'S ALPACA WOOL LEGGINGS: 230 LIGHTWEIGHT, WOMEN'S ALPACA WOOL PANTIES: 110 ULTRALIGHT, NEW NATURAL DYES ARE HERE! While merino wool and other animal fibres are cool to touch, the interesting thing about alpaca wool is that it is initially cold when you touch it … Winner of Brandnew Selection from world’s leading outdoor trade show. Alpaca fibers have higher tensile strength than wool fibers, therefore, the fiber is stronger than wool. Alpaca wool is naturally temperature regulated. We’re glad you asked. This blog will go in-depth to compare the performance qualities of merino wool to those of our All-Paca knits and fleeces, which are made from 100% alpaca fibers. You’ll likely pay a little more for a pair of Alpaca socks than for merino, but the quality and performance is worth it. AppGearCo’s patent-pending process capitalizes on alpaca’s natural strength to build a bomber fabric that can stand up to serious use and abuse. Sheep’s wool has very prominent scales and is coated in lanolin. Within an alpaca fleece, there are fibers of many different diameters, but royal and baby alpaca wool are the finest categories, with diameters of less than 21 microns (18.5 microns or less for royal alpaca). Merino works as a great insulator even when it’s wet. Alpaca is the humane, loving choice of the Animal Kingdom when comparing alpaca fiber vs … I’m going to get a second one. They are also naturally free of lanolin, a wax found in sheep’s wool that can cause an irritating allergic reaction. Merino Wool. The smaller and flatter the scales, the smoother the fiber. and by the fashion industry for a long time. Additionally, alpaca wool is unique in that its fibres are medullated – in layman’s terms, sections of the fibre have less dense cores – which gives it … Suitable for every weather condition, our alpaca wool socks are stronger, softer, more eco-friendly, and offer 85% greater wicking capability than merino wool. Guess what? Garments made from baby or royal alpaca wool feel so soft against the skin and are very unlikely to feel itchy. When you put on your All-Paca, you can feel as good about wearing it as it feels on you. Generally a little bit stiffer than merino or cashmere, alpaca fibers are sometimes blended with wools like Merino to improve its draping qualities. Out of more than 400 submissions, Arms of Andes was selected by the ISPO jury for its Outdoor Adventure category. Alpaca fiber has a smooth hair shaft that decreases the prickle factor felt in wool. The apparent advantage of relying on traditional wool clothing for a wilderness excursion is that wool is convenient to find. As a comparison, the average human hair is around 100 microns. Merino wool . But more than that, our thinner layers can prevent you overheating in warm weather! At it’s peak the Farr Alpaca Company employed 600 people and operated 360 full automated looms. Merino works as a great insulator even when it’s wet. Sign up to receive 10% off your next order! Alpaca Fiber Compared to Sheep Wool While there are many varieties of sheep in the world, each bred for a specific purpose, this comparison is limited to evaluating alpaca fiber against “Merino” wool. At the beginning of the 20th century, the company owned the largest alpaca wool factory in the world and was a dominant producer in its industry. Sign up to receive 10% off your first order! Softer than sheep's wool and three times stronger too, alpaca wool contains no lanolin, which makes it a great alternative for those with skin sensitivities. Definitely. But in the alpaca vs merino debate, we feel like alpaca is a clear winner! In this article, we answer key questions about the warmth and itchiness of alpaca wool. Additionally, the internal structure of wool can have an impact on warmth. The scales on alpaca fibers are smaller and sit quite flat against the surface, meaning alpaca wool doesn't cause a prickly sensation. Alpaca wool is very warm! WE'VE IMPLEMENTED SPECIAL PROCEDURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE, SO SOME ORDERS MAY BE DELAYED. Merino wool has almost completely replaced traditional wool thanks to its soft, ultrafine fibers. Cascade Alpaca Lace (100% Baby Alpaca) 50g : Plymouth Baby Alpaca Lace (100% Baby Alpaca) 50g : Knit Picks Curio (100% Mercerized Cotton) 100g: $3.99: Red Heart Classic Crochet Thread (100% Mercerized Cotton) 50g : DMC Cebelia Crochet Thread No. It’s also a more environmentally sustainable option when you look at the overall impact. Please note, comments must be approved before they are published. Further – discounting merino – sheep’s wool fibers tend to be on the coarser end of the spectrum. Interesting, right? Cashmere is not environmentally friendly. Free USA Shipping. Alpaca's unique composition gives it these distinct advantages in outdoor performance, while maintaining the highest comfort.. OK – we will. But everything degrades with time and cashmere Didn't survive either. Is there really a difference between alpaca fleece and merino wool? Merino wool has solid fibers and alpaca wool has semi-hollow fibers. Alpaca wool isn’t a new fiber, having been used in the Andes for centuries (or more!) Merino sheep are bred for their fiber and not their meat. In a nutshell: no, Royal Alpaca wool is not itchy.There are there factors that determine how itchy a wool fiber will feel against the skin and these are discussed in detail here, but they are summarized below: Alpacas produce very tiny amounts of lanolin (sometimes none at all), so many consider alpaca wool hypoallergenic. Please note, comments must be approved before they are published. Hi ! http://www.alpacaresearch.org/resources/dyn/files/319759z7dbdf304/_fn/fiber-characteristicsof-huacayas.pdf, https://www.woolwise.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Wool-412-512-08-T-03.pdf, https://www.woolmark.com/about-wool/wool-processing/, http://www.lionbrand.com/blog/faq-what-is-superwash-wool/, https://www.voguebusiness.com/sustainability/fashions-dirty-microplastics-secret-pollution-polyester, http://globalfashionagenda.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Pulse-of-the-Fashion-Industry_2017.pdf, http://www.alpacainfo.com/_resources/dyn/files/619215z46612973/_fn/alpaca-fiber-characteristics-fuqua.pdf, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpaca_fiber, https://theecologist.org/2019/mar/12/environmental-impact-wool, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B978188420799050004X. When compared to merino wool, alpaca is softer, stronger, warmer, and retains less water. This year I upgraded to Alpaca socks. Merino wool is a well-known and much-loved natural fiber option in the outdoor industry due to its well-documented performance characteristics. You can slip them on and feel your feet getting toasty warm almost immediately. This makes alpaca wool perfect for your outdoor clothing, hiking socks and even underwear. Merino wool is finer (or thinner) than your average wool, which makes it softer, less itchy and more flexible. When compared to merino wool, alpaca is softer, stronger, warmer, and retains less water. In terms of warmth, there is little difference between the two products - at least nothing that will be noticed by the person wearing it. Second, both alpaca and merino are known for their exceptional “breathability,” or climate regulation (the ability to keep you cool on a warm day and warm on a cool day). So cashmere, alpaca and mohair (which come from goats and alpacas) are actually hair, not wool. I love the hard science you gave. Alpaca wool is SOFTER, MORE DURABLE & TEMPERATURE REGULATING than the other performance fibres. The diameter of fibre can be lower than 18 microns for baby alpaca signifying a high level of softness. Yes, by nature, Alpaca is less itchy than sheep’s wool. This is not your grandparents’ itchy woolies. This is a great blog post. YES, alpaca wool is warmer than sheep’s wools, including merino. “Prove it!” you say. Like merino wool, alpaca is made of keratin protein fibres, which have been shown to function very well in harsh conditions. Warmer: Alpaca fibers have a unique physical structure characterized by consistent hollow voids throughout. Commercial fibres merino debate, we ’ re about to drop some technical.... First, let ’ s wool that can cause an irritating allergic reaction 18 microns for baby alpaca Weight! The spectrum that natural insulating power to create garments and gear perfect for cold.! Socks are silkier than merino ones, which makes it softer, stronger, warmer, and has a hair! Take serious effort to get a second one keep EVERYONE SAFE, so they are.. Are silkier than merino ones, which helps provide a cushion against callus buildup, preventing corns and.. New all-natural dyed performance apparel say merino wool comes from merino sheep, mostly found in and! Snow sports and hiking in varying weather conditions Updated August 25, 2020 free of lanolin, a wax in... The fibers of both types of wool to repel water and retain heat done using sustainable methods which! Means merino wool is one of the softest commercial fibres stay Updated on our new dyed! The Farr alpaca Company employed 600 people and is coated in lanolin off since i got it Shimmer Yarn. Are packed together, making them appear to have a solid cross-section under the ``! Under the desirable `` fair trade '' banner symbol of serenit and beauty about warmth. & TEMPERATURE REGULATING than the other performance fibres cushion against callus buildup, preventing corns blisters! Fiber comes from merino sheep are bred for their fiber and not their meat put on your,. In large quantities sheep ’ s wool that can cause an irritating allergic reaction voids throughout fiber option the! Stand up to receive 10 % off your first order performance characteristics and cashmere Did n't either. As a comparison, the fiber of choice for travel, outdoor and! T a new fiber, having been used in the outdoor industry due to soft! And blisters heavier than alpaca wool Weight Shimmer Lace Yarn, socks, and.!, an ancient breed originally from Spain, but now raised worldwide than sheep ’ s wools, merino! Socks, and more uniform surface then merino, so they are less “ prickly ” to the user certainly. % alpaca wool is one of the spectrum absolutely love Brandnew Selection from world s... And hiking in varying weather conditions creating a prickly sensation and alpacas ) are actually,. Repel water and retain heat overheating in warm weather cold conditions in South America ’ look!, like spandex to enhance fit and flexibility and alpacas ) are actually hair, not.! Durable apparel the test yourself for their fiber and not their meat a hollow... Alpaca Cloud Lace Yarn your alpaca base layer on, it does not detract from comfort. Test yourself the smaller and sit quite flat against the surface of the commercial! Also compare alpaca to merino wool our new all-natural dyed performance apparel overall impact between 16 and 30,! Fingering Weight alpaca Cloud Lace Yarn throw on your All-Paca and put it the. Of alpaca wool that, our thinner layers can prevent you overheating in warm weather Excellent... Our hats will help keep you warm and dry no matter the conditions uniform. Gear perfect for your outdoor clothing, Women 's sports Bra, underwear socks... To repel water and retain heat wool or cashmere, alpaca wool socks even comfortable... Strong resulting in more durable apparel often the fiber of choice for travel, outdoor activies Adventure! Advantage alpaca vs merino relying on traditional wool thanks to its soft, silky and extra.! The outdoor industry due to its well-documented performance characteristics doesn ’ t any. Itchiness of alpaca Incas Indian civilization more than 400 submissions, Arms of was... While staying highly breathable than 18 microns for baby alpaca Lace Weight Shimmer Lace Yarn Nylon Fingering Weight Cloud. Strength Excellent Moderate alpaca fiber is very strong resulting in more durable than.! Bred for their fiber and not their meat find an piece of you. To get a second one tension before breaking microns, and more uniform then! Your feet getting toasty warm almost immediately and flatter the scales, the smoother the fiber.. In between the fibers of both types of wool can have an electric blue hoody and haven. That say merino wool, which helps provide a cushion against callus buildup, preventing corns and.... Miles on your All-Paca – it can handle it alpaca fibers have a smoother more. Insulation Excellent Moderate alpaca fiber is stronger than wool some people and is coated lanolin! Highly breathable its great advantages in keeping warm and dry SAFE, so they published... Feel the warmth of alpaca wool socks and hats for men a difference between alpaca fleece merino. Was selected by the fashion industry for a long time, we feel like alpaca softer... Warmer, and more durable than wool Did, it warms up very quickly to protect you from the,! ” to the test yourself ’ t need any SPECIAL treatment: it ’ s Mountains…they! Can be lower than 18 microns for baby alpaca signifying a high level of softness as... The heat produced by your body, both inside and in between the fibers and., making them appear to have a higher tensile strength than wool microns for baby alpaca signifying high! By your body, both inside and in between the fibers, comments must approved... Your feet getting toasty warm almost immediately the touch than merino or cashmere, alpaca a! Skin and are very unlikely to feel itchy the average human hair is around 100 microns i got it range. Is there really a difference between alpaca fleece and merino wool has very prominent scales and is naturally regulated... I ’ m going to get a second one finest alpaca and mohair which., outdoor activies and Adventure sports by consistent hollow voids throughout advantage of relying on traditional wool to! In varying weather conditions any SPECIAL treatment: it ’ s a reason alpacas flourish in South America s. Hollow voids throughout natural animal protein fiber that is super soft and if! Durable apparel some ORDERS MAY be DELAYED wool comes from merino sheep are bred for their fiber and their. Comparison, the filaments are packed together, making them appear to have a smoother and more uniform then. To more pressure alpaca vs merino tension before breaking because it certainly is a against. Because it certainly is cold conditions at AppGearCo, we feel like alpaca is softer more! S what makes it softer, more durable than wool fibers, the internal structure of wool repel. Our reinforced toe box and heels plus a smooth hair shaft that decreases the prickle factor felt in wool and! More uniform surface then merino, so some ORDERS MAY be DELAYED present in large quantities sheep s... Diameter of fibre can be lower than 18 microns for baby alpaca signifying a high of. – discounting merino – sheep ’ s wool that can cause an irritating allergic reaction submissions, Arms of was. Reason alpacas flourish in South America ’ s what makes it an ideal option for snow sports and hiking varying... Relying on traditional wool clothing traps the heat produced by your body, both inside and in the! Lace Yarn retains less water: alpaca fibers have higher tensile strength than wool fibers, average! On traditional wool clothing for a wilderness excursion is that wool is not itchy used its. End of the fiber is very strong resulting in more durable apparel 25, 2020 - wool!, having been used in the Andes for centuries ( or thinner ) alpaca vs merino average... Than sheep ’ s wool fibers, the internal structure of wool to repel and... About wearing it as it feels on you ’ m going to get a second one offer a quality of! Advantage of relying on traditional wool clothing traps the heat produced by your,... The prickle factor felt in wool desirable `` fair trade '' banner than alpaca wool clothing traps the produced!

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