Guide to Organic Alpaca Yarn

Spool of red yarn.

Organic alpaca yarn is a premium-quality yarn that's soft, warm, comfortable, and versatile. It can be compared to traditional cotton yarn or bamboo yarn and is used to make many of the same items, but many people find alpaca yarn to be of better quality and finer grade.

Benefits of Organic Alpaca Yarn

In comparison to other organic yarns, alpaca yarn and pieces of clothing made with it are:

  • lighter in feel
  • 20 percent warmer
  • silkier
  • more durable
  • resistant to pilling

Lots of people prefer wearing alpaca clothing because it feels soft, light, and comfortable on the body. Other warm fabrics, such as wool, can become itchy and rough with continued use.

Baby alpaca yarn is even finer quality than traditional alpaca yarn. It gets its name because it is manufactured from a young alpaca's first fleece. The yarn has a fiber diameter of 20 or fewer microns.

Where to Buy

Organic alpaca is sold at a number of knitting and craft stores around the world. You can also order the yarn online.

  • Peru Naturtex eco-textile products creates an "Angel Touch" variety of soft organic alpaca yarn that is distributed in Australia and the United States. They offer the yarns in six colors, in industrial or hand-knitting weights.
  • Etsy, an online crafters' marketplace, sells hand-dyed and hand-spun varieties of organic alpaca as well as clothing made from alpaca fiber.
  • Blue Sky Alpacas offers a silk-and-alpaca yarn blend and a wool-and-alpaca hand-dyed blend with more than 20 colors of each variety.
  • Eco Knits is a knitting shop based in the U.K. that offers organic yarn in natural colors, with no artificial dyes. Their products include baby alpaca yarn.
  • Noble Knits sells a few varieties of baby alpaca yarn in interesting color blends; however, their yarns are not listed as being certified organic.

Alpaca Yarn Products

If you're not a knitter but you enjoy the feel of alpaca fibers anyway, why not let someone else do the knitting for you and pick up a warm, comfortable product?

  • Kusikuy sells clothing and accessories made with alpaca wool for men, women, and children. They also offer hand-spun alpaca yarn.
  • Miss Lontay Conservation & Fashion United offers an alpaca collection of fair-trade products that includes two woven tops and a dress.
  • Fashion Conscience of the U.K. sells a stylish, oversized organic alpaca shawn cardigan.
  • Want to stay toasty warm while you sleep? Woolroom sells an alpaca wool duvet with a certified organic cotton cover and an interior or organic alpaca wool blended with sheep's wool.

How to Use It

Use alpaca yarn in the same way you would use wool, cotton yarn, or any other type of yarn for knitting or crocheting. Keep in mind that alpaca yarn has a lighter feel and that the fibers are more hollow than those of other yarn varieties. Because it's also a bit warmer, it works especially well for knitting sweaters, scarves, mittens, socks, and other winter clothing items. If you want to make something you can use year-round, try a shrug for layering, a purse, or a floppy shoulder bag.

Alpaca fleece and fiber can also be used for other craft projects and creative works. Treat your finished alpaca items gently. If they need to be washed, hand-wash them with cold water and lay them on a flat surface to dry so that they won't stretch out. You can wash larger items in the washing machine on a gentle setting, but always let them air-dry because the dryer will shrink them considerably.

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Guide to Organic Alpaca Yarn