Why Do Baby Alpacas Have The Softest Fleece?
Yes, it really is that soft!
Before we can answer this burning question we need to lay down some baby alpaca facts.
Baby alpacas, known as cria, originate in the Andes Mountains of South America, typically in Peru. As herbivores, they mostly eat grass, but their diets can also include leaves wood, bark or stems and are classified as a ruminant species. Ruminants are an even-toed ungulate mammal that chews the cud regurgitated from its rumen. The ruminants comprise of cattle, sheep, antelopes, deer, giraffes, and their relatives such as the alpaca.
The process involves fermenting the plants that it consumes in microbial action in the front part of the digestive system, and requires the fermented food (known as cud) to be regurgitated and chewed again. This process which helps to break down the ingested fibers further is known as rumination, which, as you might have guessed, produces milk. The first creamy, nutrient-rich milk that the cria feeds from the mother alpaca is called colostrum. It provides a newborn alpaca with all the essential nutrients and antibodies and needs to prevent infection and grow strength very quickly for its survival in the first 12 hours after its birth.
This diet produces the very fine fibers we call fleece, and for about three weeks, it’s time to be sheared. The first shearing of a cria produces the finest, softest fleece it will ever produce, and over time, as it is sheared more often, the fibers become coarser. It is what makes baby alpaca wool so unique! Unlike sheep’s wool, which is more coarse— and itchy—the first several shears from the baby alpaca are soft. It has a quality that has more give to it, which is excellent when it comes to laying comfortably against sensitive skin. It also makes it more water-resistant and breathable, great for all hot, cold, wet, and dry seasons.
Many companies boast about their cruelty-free products, but baby alpaca wool is the finest example of this practice. It not only comes from a herbivore, but it keeps the alpaca comfortable and clean by shearing it, which in turn makes for a happy baby!
You can immediately feel the difference from the first touch of baby alpaca fleece to your skin, the good vibes of cruelty-free products, and we know the only itching you’ll be feeling is the itch for more. We’re in the business of feelin’ good, so try on a sweater and pick up some socks to go with it to see for yourself.
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