Alpaca is sometimes compared to cashmere because of its soft texture. While they may seem similar they have very distinctive differences. Here are 4 key differences between alpaca fiber and cashmere.
1. Alpaca Fiber is more durable
Alpaca fiber has proven itself to be more durable than cashmere. Alpaca fiber is hollow with an insulating core making it both warm and breathable at the same time. Alpaca fiber does not pill and is even less prickly than other wools commonly are. The higher demand in cashmere has causes breeders to start crossbreeding to have enough wool to meet the demand. This crossbreeding causes a different kind of material that pills and sheds due to the short and coarse material.
2. Alpaca fiber is more environmentally friendly
Alpaca fiber is more environmentally friendly than cashmere. Cashmere products typically take more material than alpaca products causing them to need a larger heard to keep up with production. These larger herds not only overgraze in fields, but also tear up the ground with their hooves. This leads to problems such as dust storms and dying land. Alpacas, on the other hand, don’t harm the ground or graze destructively. Alpacas also drink less water and produce enough fiber naturally to make four or five sweaters in a year. Not only are alpacas better for the land, but they also provide more material than other animals.
3. Alpaca fiber is less expensive than cashmere
Cashmere is known for its higher quality and the demand for cashmere is very high. Although alpaca fiber is cheaper than cashmere the quality is not any less. Alpaca fiber is just as soft, if not softer, and warmer than cashmere. Cashmere is known for being luxurious, but that does not make it the only wool option or even the best wool option.
4. Alpaca fiber is basically moisture-proof
Cashmere is known for being moisture-proof, but only up to a point. The wool can only withstand so much before the material become saturated. Alpaca fiber, on the other hand, is mostly hollow meaning that there is no core for the moisture to attach onto. Not only will alpaca fiber keep you warm, but will also keep you dry all day long.
While alpaca and cashmere may seem like the same thing they have distinctive differences. As the cooler months are approaching wisely consider the material choice that you are making. Check out our alpaca products here at Four Acres Living.