Integral Thread

Luxury Plain Collection: Alpaca

Integral Thread looks at why Alpaca is an eco-friendly, sustainable, and natural fiber option for rugs.

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Alpaca is a unique fiber in terms of softness, warmth, weight, hypoallergenic qualities, and versatility. Often compared to cashmere or silk, Alpaca fiber is extremely soft to the touch. Even though it is such a soft and lightweight fiber, it is not to be underestimated in terms of warmth. The fiber has a special hollow core structure which traps heat inside the fiber. This molecular structure actually makes it a warmer material than sheep’s wool.

Alpaca is naturally hypoallergenic, suitable for clients who have sensitive skin or allergies to other fibers. Alpaca fiber can be spun into various yarn weights, making it usable for a wide range of weaving techniques and potential for innovation.

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Alpaca fibers are all natural:

Alpaca fiber comes in a range of natural colors, including white, brown, black, and shades of gray. This luxurious natural color palette eliminates the need for harsh dyes, making it an eco-friendly choice. The fiber itself is renewable and biodegradable. Alpaca fiber can be shorn annually without harm to the animals, and the fiber itself is highly durable, reducing the frequency of replacements compared to synthetic materials.

Alpacas as animals have a low environmental impact. They have few natural predators and can graze on pastureland without chemical interventions. Their padded feet are gentle on land, leading to minimal soil erosion. They are selective grazers, nibbling on native grasses instead of pulling the plant up from the root. This causes minimal damage to the pastures they feed on. Eating native plants also reduces the need for supplemental feeding, which decreases the environmental impact associated with feed crops. Also, Alpaca thrive in dry arid climates, obtaining much of their water needs from the plants they eat. This means they do not require extensive watering like some other livestock.

If you think an Alpaca rug might be the perfect choice, stop by our showroom to see--and feel--all of our luxurious Alpaca samples.

We’d like to thank our vendor, Sumaq Alpaca, for creating these beautiful rugs and providing this educational content. 100% of their rug fibers are sourced in Peru, and we are proud to showcase their products for our clients.

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