Did you know that when you buy "100% alpaca yarn" at a yarn store, that yarn may not be purely alpaca??? It can contain more than 50% of sheep's wool which contains lanolin. For some reason, the labeling of yarn produced from outside our country does not have to meet the U.S. labeling standards for yarn spun here in the U.S. (That's why it may seem a lot cheaper!) Ask your yarn supplier if indeed, their "alpaca" yarn is 100% alpaca!
100% Alpaca yarn does NOT contain lanolin.
Some people are allergic to lanolin, and that is why pure alpaca fiber is marketed as "hypoallergenic" because it does NOT contain lanolin. It does contain a natural, softening, moisture resistant lubricant.
Alpaca yarn also has a much lower "itch factor" (due to lower and fewer "barbs" on the individual fibers) and is many time warmer than wool, due to the loft and hollow shaft which produces an insulating factor.
So, when you see real 100% alpaca yarn, which is primarily produced in the U.S.A. you'll know that you're creating those heirloom items with the fiber of the "gods"!
There are two kinds of alpaca fiber...suri and huacaya...each with it's own fabulous features.
So be "alpaca alert" and support the alpaca farmers of the U.S.A.!!! At this time, there are only 100,000 registered alpacas in the U.S., so this is truly a rare fiber here at home.
If you'd like more information, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you've read this far, thank you!
A U.S.A. Alpaca breeder and yarn producer.