With the colder weather upon us, our thoughts start to wander towards all things warm and cozy.
When I think warm and cozy, I think of sweaters, blankets, thick socks, scarves, hats, and mittens of course. A blanket to cozy up with while reading or watching tv on the couch is an absolute must for me! The problem is so very many of these cozy items are wool or contain wool and for someone like me this is a no go.
As far as I know I have always had issues with wool, as soon as I touch it my fingers get tingly and itchy and if for some reason I am in contact with it for any length of time I will develop a rash and so forth. Not so cozy!
I know I am not alone in this as many people experience issues with wool. While it seems that true allergies are rare and most people are not actually allergic to wool or the lanolin (which is a substance that coats each wool fiber) but rather are sensitive or hyper-sensitive to either the wool, the lanolin or even both.
So what do you do if you are like me and can’t do wool but want a natural, durable, sustainable and cozy fibre? Well you’ll fall in love with the alpaca!
Alpaca is a beautiful fibre because it is actually warmer than wool due to the structure of the fibre itself, it is hypoallergenic (no lanolin), is naturally water-repellent and has great breathability, whereas wool can suck in water which causes it to create discomfort against the skin. It also is a much softer fibre than wool. Wool can vary in its texture based on the quality (measured in microns) of wool being used for a piece, the smaller the microns the softer the wool. Often alpaca is directly compared to merino wool or cashmere. Alpaca also comes in 22 natural colours and can be dyed, and I have seen some extremely vibrant colours that are just incredible.
What Else Makes Alpaca Unique?
Other fun facts about the advantages of alpaca, from an environmental perspective alpacas actually do less harm to the ground they walk on because their little hooves are padded which results in a lower impact on the earth itself.
They also only eat the top layer of grass they are munching on; what this means is that they aren’t uprooting the grass, it can simply keep growing, they are just cutting the grass not ripping it out. They are light eaters and do not consume a lot of water either. Through these little characteristics they are not causing soil erosion and don’t consume large levels of resources. Plus in my opinion, alpacas are cuter too!
Fun fact - alpacas and llamas are not the same creature! Llamas are more closely related to Camels and do not have the same luxe fleece situation as their friend, the noble alpaca.
What Is In My Alpaca Collection?
A couple of years ago I discovered alpaca and took a chance on it being something that would provide me with all of the things that I was looking for. I started with a simple scarf, I am obsessed with scarves, I can never have too many. Ok, I’m not going to lie, I can never have too many of any of my cozy things!! This scarf was simple, has a classic design, is lightweight, warm and very soft. It is perfect for casual or professional looks as well. With this scarf I was hooked on alpaca and the next fall I just bought more!
I proceeded to purchase a hat and an absolutely luxurious blanket. The hat is so gorgeous and reversible so with the colour combination I choose it can be more understated or so beautifully coloured. I adore it!
The blanket is a double wide throw, which means it covers my queen bed and I am totally and completely in love with it. It is lightweight, so warm and cozy. I have a huge blanket supply, I mean I can never have too many blankets, seriously!
Since I purchased my alpaca blanket though it has easily become my favourite blanket (with the exception of my quilts from my grandma, they will always have my heart), I reach for it everyday!
So Where Do I Get My Gorgeous Alpaca From?
Pokoloko is my go to for all things alpaca! They are a local Canadian company out of Hull, Quebec and they are all about sustainability, ethical practices and ensuring that the whole supply chain meets high standards. Pokoloko works towards enriching communities through fair trade and ethical practices not only for their alpaca lines but for everything they offer.
Their alpaca blankets, scarves, socks, hats, and sweaters are all beautifully crafted, come in a variety of patterns and colours and will easily fill your home with warmth, comfort and coziness. The next item on my list is one of their glorious sweaters, like the Jacquard or Cartier! These pieces are made to last, they are made for life.
If you are looking for the perfect cozy items this fall and winter make sure you consider alpaca. I have fallen so in love with alpaca that I have begun buying it as gifts for my friends and family as well to spread the coziness around.
I hope that this has helped you discover a new option and even if you can do wool, why not switch to alpaca for all of the amazing benefits!!