Seemingly overnight, the UK weather has turned from warm, comforting sunshine to cold, grey and windy. Here at WALL London, we have (begrudgingly) packed our sunglasses, linens and sandals away in favour of our trusty wool jumpers and amazing alpaca cardigans.
The alpaca is a cousin of the llama and lives in the South American Andean region at altitudes as high as 5000 meters where it needs a thick fleece or coat to keep out the cold. Unlike llamas, which were bred as pack animals, alpacas were bred specifically for their coat. Alpaca wool is very soft and silky, and much warmer than sheep’s wool.
The inner cores are actually hollow allowing the fibres to be super-soft and warm but also very lightweight. This also adds significantly to their insulating properties.
Our luxurious Alpaca Mix Cardigan is perfect for chilly days with its waterfall neckline that can be worn open or fastened closed with the pin (included).
Our classic V-neck, oversized sweater has this winter been updated with baby alpaca yarns and two-colour honeycomb knit detailing.
Or give your feet a treat with our alpaca-mix socks! Exclusively keeping your feet warm with WALL since 1997.
Nothing can beat it for comfort!
· Alpaca wool does not contain lanolin, making it hypoallergenic.
· Alpacas are of the camelid family, and are closely related to the llama. There are four South American camelids: llamas and alpacas are domesticated while the vicuna and the guanaco remain wild and are protected species. All four species are found mainly in the Peruvian Andes, though there are smaller numbers in Chile and Bolivia.
· Alpacas were bred from the wild vicuna between 6,000 and 7,000 years ago. The Incas refined the alpaca for better fibre quality. When the Spanish invaded Peru in 1532 they introduced sheep, and destroyed the alpaca breeding programmes.
· There are two types of alpaca. The Huacaya, which the Naishes keep, have springy coats arranged in tight crimped locks. The coat of the rarer Suri hangs like dreadlocks.
· Alpacas weigh up to about 50kg (110lb) and are around 90cm (3ft) tall at the withers. The babies - or cria - are almost always born in late morning. They stand within a few hours. Alpacas have a lifespan of about 20 years.
· Alpacas are a herd animal - they pine if kept alone.
· Alpacas tend to be well-behaved. However, like camels they spit if provoked - a vivid grass green liquid.
·There are 22 fleece colours ranging from white and fawn to brown and black and also grey and rose grey. The fibre is soft like cashmere but stronger.