Why Alpaca Outperforms Merino Wool, other natural fibers, synthetic fibers, and goose down.
4x warmer than Merino wool
10% warmer than goose down and synthetic fiber
85% Greater Wicking away moisture “Breathable”
Promotes Healthy Skin
Softer than cashmere
Sheep’s wool has been used since Adam and Eve and still has its great uses although Alpaca fiber is an underappreciated, underutilized, and fairly unknown “miracle” fiber. Here are some facts. In October of 2018, Fiber and Fiber Products Committee (FiberCom) recently conducted a study to test the antimicrobial properties of raw alpaca fiber. In recent years the outdoor and sports textile industry has observed a elevated interest in antimicrobial clothing products from customers who are seeking odor resistant and antimicrobial clothing. The industry has principally addressed this high demand by treating fabrics with chemicals which inhibit bacterial growth. It’s highly effective at suppressing bacteria on the clothing short term although in most cases those chemicals vanish over time as the clothing is used and washed, resulting in a loss of antibacterial qualities. This has led some market observers to raise environmental concerns regarding the resulting presence of the chemicals in water, soil, and on the human body. While the effect is modest, the antibacterial properties of the keratin component of animal fibers, including alpaca, are a more natural and durable alternative to chemical treatment.
Based on the recent research use of the “Flir” thermal camera, In a 0 degree F (-17 C) environment, Alpaca fiber provides a 50 degree F (20 C) comfort range. Bottom line, it’s 20 degrees warmer than most synthetics, and 30 degrees warmer than wool. Initial product tests results of the VPAC vests we sell reveal their fiber fill is 10% warmer and up to 30% lighter than comparable goose down and synthetic fiber. Wool gives a 30 degree comfort range whereas Alpaca has a 50 degrees comfort range in 0 F degree weather. This is according to Yocom-McColl study, Paca Performance Gear, and other research As for the tensile strength as stated it’s 3X stronger, which means the industry standard of is 30N/ktex, which Alpaca is 50N/ktex. Alpaca doesn’t contain lanolin which means two things. First, its hypoallergenic making it less itchy or it has a extremely low “prickle” characteristic. Secondly, there is no use of harsh chemicals compared to wool to make it softer and remove the lanolin or the use of chemicals in some goose down to make it waterproof, whereas Alpaca is naturally waterproof, therefore no chemical additives to make it waterproof. You can harvest 87-97% of Alpaca fiber for clean and usable fiber compared to 43-76% from sheep wool.
Here are the results of the antimicrobial properties
Here is a study conducted to show the strength and durability of Alpaca fiber compared to other fibers.
Attached is the "popular version" of a Huacaya Study published in Alpacas Magazine, Summer 2004. The academic version was published in Small Ruminant Research, 64 (2006),
pgs 211-224, available online at www.sciencedirect.com