Today you may find a lot of trendy and high-quality clothes from acrylic, or if you are not a fan of synthetics you can easily find cotton or wool clothes. At the same time, you’ve probably heard about Cashmere, Mohair or Alpaca. So, why actually people attracted by a natural fiber of these rare animals?
Well, there are several factors and all of them are pretty reasonable.
5 reasons to buy alpaca, cashmere or mohair clothes.
- in times warmer than sheep’s wool in a cold weather
- won’t make you sweat in hot weather
- hypoallergenic and soft
- in times lighter than sheep’s wool
- highly durable
Cashmere is a fiber from the wool of cashmere goats, and the origin of these animals is the Himalayas. Someone may say that it’s not actually a wool but a hair. The reason is that it’s obtained from the neck region of a goat. Cashmere is the thinnest wool in the world.
For this reason, it’s actually more expensive, then Alpaca and Mohair. Why? Because it counts that thinner fiber provides more comfort ( cashmere fiber is 19-20 microns in diameter).
Another reason of a cashmere high price is a promotion. Cashmere is well known as a fiber of the highest quality and a luxury textile.
Nowadays the main producers of cashmere are China and Mongolia.
Read more on Wiki
Mohair is a wool of Angora goat, and far origins of this goat like a cashmere are somewhere in the Himalayas. However, on the 16th it reached Turkey and was discovered in Turkish province called Angora. For a long time, it was prohibited to export both fiber and animals outside from the Turkey. And first mohair fiber and angora goats Europeans got just in the 19th century.
In addition to the properties that I’ve already mentioned, mohair has such an important values like a flame resistance.
In 1938 Turkish angora goats were exported to South Africa, and now it’s the worlds largest producer of mohair. South Africa covers about 50% of world’s market.
Mohair fiber is not as thin as Cashmere and Alpaca (mohair fiber is 25-45 microns in diameter). Primarily, mohair was used as a material for furniture, but due to aggressive marketing campaigns of South African companies, it was positioned as a luxury product for the clothing industry.
Read more on Wiki
In this luxury textile society, alpaca is a slightly rare member, because:
- alpaca’s origin isn’t the Himalayas
- alpaca isn’t a kind of goat.
So, Who is alpaca actually?
Alpaca is South American camelid (the nearest famous relative of alpaca is a camel), who lives high in the Andes mountains and has a more likely look of a sheep with a long neck.
Alpaca was bred by Incas Indian civilization more than 500 years ago on the contemporary territory of Peru and Bolivia. Spanish colonization changed a lot in these lands, but not a traditions of alpaca breeding and textile production.
Alpaca was introduced internationally in 1980th. Nowadays you may found alpaca farms in US, Britain and other countries, with local craft fiber production, but keep in mind the fact that Peruvian Andes area has unique climate conditions. The fiber produced in the area of origin will always be different from one that was replicated in another climatic zone.
#inside: Peruvian Andes area has unique climatic conditions that have a great influence on the alpaca fiber properties. Fiber from the craft farms in US, Britain and other countries won’t have the same quality as the fiber from the area of origin.
Alpaca fiber is thinner than mohair (alpaca fiber is 22,5-30 microns in diameter), and very close to cashmere by quality but not by a high price (!!!).
In addition to the thermic and durable properties, alpaca textile:
- stays clean for a pretty long time, because it doesn’t contain any kind of grease.
- has a natural silky shining that doesn’t disappear after the wear or due to dying.
Read more on Wiki
Cashmere is a market leader in natural luxury textile. It’s recognized and costly, mohair might be a cheaper alternative.
Alpaca has a very long history and high quality, however, it wasn’t promoted as much as Cashmere and Mohair.
So nowadays you have a good chance to differentiate your garderobe with some sweater, pullover or coat made from unique, rare and luxury alpaca wool.