If you know us at Resthouse, you’ll know we love everything to do with wool bedding. However, recently we started carrying alpaca as well, and our customers have been asking why they should consider it for bedding. Here’s the scoop.
Alpacas are native to the Andes mountains in South America and are most often raised in Peru, Bolivia and Chile. When the word caught on of the wonderful fibre they produce, North America followed suit in the late 1980s, and adopted the alpaca farming practice. Sheep have always held the spotlight, but with the alpaca’s ability to thrive in a variety of environments plus the value of their fibre, they are becoming increasingly popular to raise all over the world. Some people find it to be more favourable than sheep farming, as alpaca can be easier to keep. They eat less, are unfussy grazers and require less outdoor space. They are hardy in hot and cold environments, as well as resilient against illness. Many simply love their gentle and docile personality. Overall, alpacas can be an easy, low maintenance pursuit, even for people with little farming experience.
Alpaca fibre has many qualities that make it stand out as a wonderful bedding material. Its temperature-regulating properties allow it to keep you warm without causing you to overheat. It is also antimicrobial and antibacterial, making it one of the safest, healthiest choices out there for people with allergies or sensitivities. On top of all that, it is a completely sustainable resource; the alpacas simply get a yearly haircut.
What most people don’t know is that alpaca fibres are hollow, which makes them exceptionally lightweight. This hollow feature also gives it a unique ability to retain more warmth, so if you’re someone like me who is always chilly at night, alpaca is a lifesaver. In regards to softness, alpaca takes the cake against many other animal fibres with its silky and extra cuddly feel.
Here are some other great features of alpaca bedding:
- Alpaca wicks away moisture quickly and is virtually water-resistant. In most cases, the heat from the fibres causes any accumulated water to evaporate.
- Alpaca’s fibre contains no lanolin (a naturally occurring oil found in some animal fibre) making it completely odourless. It is also resistant to incoming odours as it does not retain moisture or scent.
- Alpaca is very clean and is one of the most hypoallergenic of all fibres.
- This fibre is durable and with care will last a lifetime (or two).
- Alpaca is very easy to maintain. Refresh it naturally by placing it out in the sun every couple of months.
- Alpaca is a more ethical alternative to down, and often people choose it when they want a product that has a similar feel.
- Alpaca is 100% biodegradable and will cause no harm to the environment.
When opting for bedding, you can’t go wrong with alpaca. It is an excellent choice to stay comfy and warm, naturally. Shop our favourite alpaca products here: Natural Alpaca Products
How Does Wool Compare?
Wool shares a few defining features with alpaca that make them both front runners for natural bedding. Just like alpaca, wool is temperature regulating, breathable, antimicrobial, antibacterial and moisture resistant. Wool is denser yet cooler than alpaca, so it is great for people who sleep hot or struggle with keeping their temperature managed. Depending on the way it is processed, wool can have varying textures and densities for a variety of uses. Wool compresses less, which is why it is often mixed in with alpaca to add extra volume. Thankfully, these two fibres complement each other well and make for bedding that combines the valuable qualities of each.
For further reading about wool bedding and its benefits: Wool Bedding...Taking a Closer Look
To shop our wool products: Natural and Organic Wool Products