Discovering Alpaca Insulation
Why we chose alpaca fiber
We knew we wanted a cruelty-free option to use as insulation for our coats. After months of research, we learned that, in addition to being sustainable and cruelty-free, alpaca fiber is actually naturally hypoallergenic, antistatic, and water resistant. It does not attract dust or dust mites, and doesn't lose quality over years of use. It seemed to us to be an ideal solution.
But will it be warm?
Alpaca fiber is actually warmer than traditional wool. However, it is also lighter and much softer. It would be more comparable to cashmere in terms of softness and comfort and closer to down in terms of its thermal insulation qualities.
A brief alpaca history
Raised at high altitudes in freezing temperatures, the alpaca developed more thermal capacity in its fiber, over time, than almost any other animal. First domesticated by the Incas in Peru, alpaca fleece was originally reserved exclusively for royalty.
Today, alpaca fiber is held in high regard and value because of its unique characteristics.
Here in Quebec, the conditions are ideal for alpacas. At Monkland Village, we use fiber from animals carefully raised in Canada, at a family-owned farm.
Each alpaca has a name and is one of the family (_Machiko_ and _Leonardo_ are our personal favorites plus last year's babies: _Sugar-n-Spice_ and _French Vanilla_).
Sustainable and nature-friendly option
More and more people are becoming eco-responsible and are actively seeking to harmonize their relationship with Mother Nature. We are trying to live in a less impactful way. Unfortunately, with only two main current winter insulation options: synthetic fibers or down, it is difficult to attain that natural harmony. Neither option is very eco-friendly. Down plucking is a cruel process and usually the duck is killed before or after the down removal process. On the other hand, wool trimming is mostly gentle but the product needs harsh chemicals in the washing process to remove the natural odours of the fiber. The perfect solution, alpaca fiber, is free of both of these deficiencies. Alpacas get their yearly haircut in May/June and the fiber does not require harsh washing as it naturally does not smell of anything.
A healthier insulation solution
The alpaca fiber is soft, durable, luxurious and silky. It is so soft that it can be worn directly next to your skin. Most people who are allergic or sensitive to wool have no reaction to alpaca fibers. Unlike down or wool, alpaca fiber is never treated with harsh chemicals to remove the natural wool odour or to kill microscopic insects which are generally present in down.
Alpaca fiber can absorb large quantities of moisture vapour, and keep it away from the body, resulting in less sweat and dampness inside the coat. Compared to other fibers, the optimum moisture transportation of alpaca fiber is quite unique. This definitely helps to create an optimal skin climate with a superior moisture absorption.
Engineering & technology
This new and exclusive, super chic, responsible, alpaca fiber insulation is the latest and greatest trend in fashion innovation. This perfect fiber is used as the insulation in our fashion-forward coats. It is placed between the external fabric and the lining and is protected from the elements by a special technologically advanced fabric that is both wind and water resistant. The lining used on the inside is breathable and durable. We have ensured that air circulates, as opposed to down insulation which needs to be placed in plastic bags to protect the down from moisture. Alpad'or™ insulation is a natural, cruelty free, sustainable material with a high performance level and is used to create all of our garments.