The traditional Alpaca Knitting Yarn comes from the South American Alpaca. The Alpaca is very similar to the Llama though much smaller and with longer hair. The hair of the young Alpaca is generally much softer and the preferred thread for making Alpaca Knitting Yarn. The hair from the older animals is much longer and while it still has many of the same favorable properties, the yarn tends to be more coarse and less comfortable for the production of hand-knitted garments. These days however, Alpaca knitting yarn comes from many different sources including other animal and even synthetic forms.
The natural or traditional Alpaca Knitting Yarn has many properties that make it an excellent choice for many knitted garments. The yarn is very elastic in nature so works great for knitting anything that may need to stretch and contract to fit comfortably. The lack of the Lanolin (such as is often found in knitting yarn made from sheep’s wool) also makes the natural Alpaca Yarn hypoallergenic in nature or very unlikely to cause any allergic reactions. The “wool” or hair of the young alpaca is unusually luxurious and silky making it a very comfortable yarn for knitted clothing that comes into direct contact with the skin.
One of the very popular features of the alpaca yarn is its natural ability to stave off the weather. The Alpacas are traditionally found in elevated areas where the temperatures get very cold. The hair is great for fending off both moisture and cold. The Alpaca yarn can be spun as everything from a bulky yarn to a lace thread depending on how it is spun making it an extremely versatile material for making yarns and knitted garments of all manner. Alpaca fiber is also regularly used in blended knitting yarns as well both to strengthen and beautify the end product.
Many variations of the Alpaca knitting yarn are available these days. The alpaca fibers are regularly combined with wool, mohair and even silk and synthetic fibers to create some extremely beautiful and hearty knitting yarns. The term Alpaca Knitting Yarn actually refers more to the style and quality of the yarn these days as opposed to the actual yarn made from the Alpaca hair fibers.
The natural knitting yarns made from the actual Alpaca hair fibers come in a variety of natural colors that are frequently used for spinning yarn. The shades of color run almost the entire spectrum through reds and browns and even some black and grey. The white alpaca knitting yarn is the most popular and the most common however, as it is the easiest one to dye and create into a wider range of colors for knitted clothes and even cloth.
While there are still many efforts under way to increase both the production of Alpaca Knitting yarns as well as finding new and improved variants and combinations, the Alpaca yarn is readily available almost anywhere. The weight of the yarn is variable allowing you to find it for just about anything that you ever wanted to knit by hand or by machine. It may be reminiscent of an old commercial for many people but it is also true … with a name like Alpaca, it has to be good. The Alpaca Knitting Yarns available on the market today remain among the most popular types of knitting yarn for a reason.