Is Alpaca Warm? Is Alpaca Itchy? Alpaca vs Merino
Alpaca vs Wool
Is Alpaca Warm?
Bottom line: YES! Alpaca wool is very warm! Alpaca wool is naturally temperature regulated. If you noticed in past blogs, I go into great detail of the unique structure of the alpaca fiber. Alpaca wool is basically heated by your body warmth and traps that warmth in their fiber. This means if you leave an alpaca base layer hanging outside, at first touch it feels cool. This is because the air trapped in the fiber is cool. However, it only takes a few seconds your alpaca hoodie to warm up and protect you from the cold.
Is Alpaca Warmer than Wool?
Final answer is: YES, alpaca wool is warmer than merino wool! This question usually refers to merino wool than the other wools out there. It’s not to say merino wool is not warm because merino wool is warm. Merino even works as a great insulator especially when it’s wet. But it’s been proven that alpaca wool beats merino when its comes to warmth. And why is this? Because of the structure of the fiber. Merino wool carries tiny air pockets in their wool that captures warmth. However, alpaca has a more defined oval structure within it core. Basically, merino wool traps less warmth than merino. This also means merino wool is heavier than alpaca wool because their fibers are closed while alpaca is filled with air than the core itself.
Is Alpaca Itchy? Is Merino Wool Itchy?
Let’s start off with Alpaca: No, its not itchy. Merino wool: Yes, its naturally itchy. What makes merino wool itchy is the type of grease found in the wool called lanonlin. This is a waxy layer that covers every strand of merino wool fiber. Some people are found to be allergic to this grease and develop itchy rashes from it which can worsen because the skin to garment friction. Also, depending on the diameter of the fiber, wool can give off some itchiness as well. If the diameter of the fiber is smaller than its less likely to cause itchy and possibly a light prickly or none at all. However, the bigger the diameter of the fiber, your skin is more sensitive and it can feel the hairs scratching against your skin. Alpaca wool has a lower range of fiber diameter compared to merino wool.