Alpaca & Fiber Info

The Alpaca fiber is considered one of the finest fibers in the world. The luxurious fiber is soft to the touch as well as strong. Clothing made with Alpaca is comfortable, water resistant, retains its shape without stretching and above all warm.

Unique Qualities of Alpaca Fiber

Alpaca is similar to Cashmere to the touch due to the fact that both fibers carry relatively low micron count. However, unlike Cashmere, Alpaca has unique thermal properties. The Alpaca fiber is structured like a human hair, the fiber core is made of air-filled cells with insulating attributes.

Lastly, Alpaca fiber has tensile strength second only to silk.

The Alpaca Fiber has many unique qualities; a few include the following:

  • Contains microscopic air pockets that provide thermal insulation.
  • Wear resistant on the outside and breathable from the inside.
  • Durable and maintains its appearance over time (i.e. pills less than Cashmere).
  • More resistant to wrinkles and traction than other wools.
  • Lighter in weight than most wools.
  • Comes in natural colors ranging from white to black with up to 22 shades of gray/brown.
  • Minimal lanolin making it nearly hypoallergenic (unlike most wools).

Many Alpaca Varieties

There are two major varieties of Alpaca: Huacaya and Suri. The Huacaya has relatively short fiber that is dense, curly and voluminous. Suri has long, straight hair, which is silky and exceptionally lustrous. Both the Suri and Huacaya fibers are used to produce a large variety of woven and knitted fabrics. The Huacaya is the more common representing 93% of the Alpaca population in Peru.

Within Huacaya, the fiber quality is measured by a low micron count. The finest Alpaca fibers are Premium Baby Alpaca (also known as Royal Alpaca) with 18 to 19 microns; and Baby Alpaca with about 22 microns. Hudson Alpaca products are made with 100% Premium Baby Alpaca (Royal) and 100% Baby Alpaca fibers.

Other Alpaca minor varieties of lesser quality include Super Fine Alpaca (25.5 microns), Suri Alpaca (26 microns) and Coarse Alpaca (usually referred only as "Alpaca" with 32 microns).

The names of these qualities do not necessarily reflect the age of the animals or their appearance. For instance, the term "Baby" comes from the fact that this fiber is usually obtained from the first Alpaca shearing.

All Hudson Alpaca products are exclusively made from the finest Alpaca; our quality is guaranteed.