Alpaca Sweaters

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Alpaca sweaters boast a unique hollow fiber that keeps them lightweight while still offering excellent insulation. As a result, alpaca is perfectly at home on a cool autumn day, outside at a company or family barbecue, or in snowy weather. You can wear an alpaca sweater comfortably at a ballgame, strolling the beach on a summer evening, or take it along to a movie theater or restaurant, two venues that can be notoriously chilly.

Alpaca is much rarer than cotton, silk, and other natural fibers and may therefore be blended with other materials such as sheep wool. Be careful when browsing alpaca sweaters that infuse synthetics for greater hold or stability as this is an indication of inferior craftsmanship. Alpaca sweaters are, ideally, made from 100-percent alpaca, which gives you the warmth of wool products with the versatility of lighter fabrics such as linen.

Choices in Alpaca Sweaters

Alpaca sweaters are most readily found in natural or slate colors such as charcoal, heather, and wheat. Lighter colors such as taupe or vanilla showcase their hand-stitched fibers better than, say, black or dark brown shades, which are more common in winter months. Meanwhile, more vibrant colors such as raspberry and sky heather offer a means of brightening up an otherwise dour wardrobe.

As far as caring for your alpaca sweaters goes, it's best to hand wash them using cool water, then laying them out to dry. A machine, even one set for delicate knits, can destroy alpaca wool, as can a bad dry cleaner. Never use bleach on alpaca either, and choose only mild detergents that contain no abrasives or other harsh chemicals.

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