222032-114ProductAlpaca Blend Knitted Tunic
Alpacas are gentle, camel-like animals native to the high Andes mountains of South America. For thousands of years, their soft and glossy coats have been sheared and then spun into a luxurious yarn. Its beauty and durability made it the cloth of the ancient Incan royalty. The yarns are commonly airy and light, with surprising strength and elasticity. Still a luxury fibre, alpaca is used for fancy-knit jumpers and soft knitted accessories.
Like sheep’s wool, alpaca is naturally warm and water-repellent but much softer and suited to sensitive skin due to its smoother surface and lack of lanolin. Because the animals are only sheared every other year, their fine fibres grow exceptionally long – up to 30 centimetres. Hollow shafts in the centre of the fibres absorb and trap body heat, giving the material unique insulation properties. The fleece come in over 300 shades and is mostly used in its natural colours.
Mélange yarns are made with top-dyed fibres of different shades, spun together, and are used to create heathered and luminous knitted fabrics.
From the French word meaning ‘mixture’ or ‘medley’, the process of creating mélanges has a smaller impact on the environment than dyeing a finished cloth.
Dyeing and blending fibres before spinning saves water and energy, reduces emissions and creates subtle variations that result in a much deeper, richer colour.