People have repeating criteria on what makes the best bedding products — soft, warm, comfortable, breathable, and durable. Oh, don’t forget it has to be hypoallergenic too. Buyers should tick off these factors from the list when shopping for bedding like quilts, blankets, duvets, and others. But what if there’s one material that meets all these factors?
Alpaca fibre or fleece comes from the alpaca, a native South American camelid mammal. When made into fabric, it creates extremely comfortable garments and bedding products such as an alpaca quilt and duvet. These products are proven to be softer, lighter, more durable, and generally better in different categories beddings are ranked for. There are many benefits of using alpaca wool which is discussed below.
- Comfortable Weight
Unless they prefer weighted blankets for stress relief, most people want light materials for moderately chill nights. Alpaca fibres are the lightest of all animal fibres with their hollow structure. It creates quilts and blankets that are extremely light and easy to sleep under. Nonetheless, it has a better warmth-to-weight ratio than sheep’s wool.
- Hypoallergenic Properties
Many people suffer from various allergic reactions from wool, which is probably because of the substance called lanolin found in sheep’s wool. Lanolin is more commonly referred to as “wool wax” or a substance that holds microscopic allergens and dust. Alpaca fibre has a very minimal amount of lanolin, which is removed during its production process and makes it a hypoallergenic product.
Alternatively, some people develop allergies not because of the wax substance but due to the coarse characteristic of wool. They discovered their symptoms disappear once their beddings are made of wool as fine as 30 microns. Alpaca fabric uses only 22 microns, so it does not cause any irritation at all.
- Extra Softness
Softness is one of, if not the most important, factors of bedding materials and products. After all, it brings the most comfort to people wanting to have a good night’s sleep. Alpaca wool fibres make extremely smooth and soft fabric. They are also innately less itchy than other wool types. Some even compare them to the softness of cashmere fabrics, which is often found in sweaters, scarves, and other cold-weather gear. When used as beddings, an alpaca quilt makes luxuriously comfortable duvets with delicate drapes and free from prickling.
- Breathability and Absorption Properties
Alpaca fibres have air pockets within each hair, which makes the material breathable. These air pockets help regulate airflow and temperature, preventing alpaca wool beddings or garments from being airtight and moist. Alpaca wool also has great absorption properties, absorbing up to 30% of its own dry weight. After it absorbs moisture, such as sweat and vapour, they quickly evaporate back to the air.
- Insulating Properties
Besides lightness, absorption, and breathability, the hollow structure of alpaca fibres contributes to its insulating properties. Insulating means a material keeps heat inside and maintains a consistent temperature. This ability to retain heat makes alpaca wool great for bedding products. Its hollow, individual fibres trap warm air produced by the body to keep its users warm during the night.
Alpaca fibres are generally strong and elastic. They do not lose their shape or break easily. When measuring its resiliency in numbers, for instance, it shows that alpaca has double tensile strength than other wool types. The usual wool materials are rated 122, while alpaca wool soars at 358. These fibres are also odour and stain resistant, so there will be less requirement to wash them regularly.