We all love alpaca sweaters because they are gorgeous, durable and soft, but alpaca clothing is beautiful in another way, too. Bolivian and Peruvian clothing made of alpaca are one of the most eco-friendly choices you can make. As the environmental costs of “fast fashion” begin coming into focus, we wanted to help you understand why buying an alpaca cardigan or ruana is a good choice for the planet.
What Is “Fast Fashion?”
“Fast fashion” refers to cheaply-made clothing that is meant to last one season, or even part of one season. Not long ago, there were two fashion seasons: Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. Now, there are not
khaddi sale only four distinct seasons, but also many sub-markets, like “cruise” or “resort,” or “pre-Fall.” In many stores, new styles arrive weekly. Customers are urged to hold on to a whirling carrousel of trends and to constantly discard outdated clothing. Americans now throw away an average of 75 pounds of textiles per year. That is a 750% increase since 1960, and more than ten times the population increase during that period. Not only is that a waste of the energy, materials and water that went into creating this disposable clothing, but since many of those textiles are made of petroleum products, they may take centuries to break down and disappear. Artificial fibers release microplastics into our waterways whenever you wash them. Yuk!
Alpaca Husbandry is a Partnership with the Land
Alpacas have been raised in the altiplano for millennia. They roam freely, they do not overgraze and they are in complete harmony with their environment. Furthermore, they are overwhelmingly owned by small family farmers, and their cultivation enables these rural dwellers to remain on their land as they have since pre-Columbian times.
Alpaca Wool is Low Impact
Alpaca fiber comes naturally in 46 distinct earth tones, ranging from black to white, with many shades of gray, brown and camel in between. Raw fiber is sorted at the warehouse, and all these earth tones are then cleaned and spun without harmful dyes. This means that all the natural tones in your alpaca cardigan or alpaca hat have
khaadi lawn collection 2020 the absolute minimal impact on the environment.
The yarn companies themselves are taking measures. The huge Inca Tops factory in Arequipa uses 1200 solar panels for heating water used for processing fiber and captures the solid waste generated to use as fertilizer. The other big producer, Michell, has recently introduced a line of non-toxic eco-yarns that will be certified organic from start to finish. We will be incorporating these colors into our alpaca ponchos, sweaters and accessories in coming years as much as possible.
Alpaca Clothing is Made To Last
Whether it’s an alpaca hat, alpaca fingerless gloves, a ruana wrap or an alpaca sweater coat, all types of sweaters of this material are made to endure. Not only is the long alpaca fiber incredibly pill- and stretch-resistant, but the rigorous quality control that extends from the knitter to the embroiderer insures that your
khaadi pret purchase will be looking as beautiful after five years as the day that you bought it. When your favorite alpaca sweater is still reeling in the compliments, you don’t need to buy another to replace it. We purposely avoid most of the synthetic blends that lower alpaca yarn’s cost at the expense of durability and sustainability. (We occasionally use a boucle yarn with a very small percentage of polyamide)
Invisible World Products Stay in Style
What’s the point of getting an alpaca sweater with a twenty year life span if it’s going to look passé next winter? At Invisible World, we purposely avoid the trendy and the temporary. We choose styles that stand outside the latest fashion trend. That ruana you buy today is not going to look outdated years from now, let alone next winter. We want you wearing and enjoying your Bolivian or Peruvian clothing for many years, and getting compliments on it all the while.
To sum it up, what we sell is slow fashion: high quality garments that are easy on the earth and will give you many years of enjoyment. Yes, an alpaca sweater is an investment, but long after you’ve forgotten the price, you’ll still be happily taking that beautiful old friend out of the closet to brighten your day.
To say that alpaca sweaters are “immortal” is a pretty bold boast. But yes, if you properly care for your alpaca sweater, it might outlive you. However, if you intend to throw down some currency for top-end Peruvian clothing from your favorite high quality alpaca seller, you need to take on the responsibility of knowing how to wash and store this luxurious garment. We operated a retail store for 32 years in a small town and saw our sweaters go through the complete life cycle on zillions of customers, so we are speaking from experience.
Why Buy Alpaca Sweaters?
Before we dive into caring for your alpaca cardigan or sweater, let’s explore why you might want to purchase one (or three) to begin with. First of all, you can wear it as a spring, fall or winter sweater, as well in over-cooled offices or on brisk summer nights. Even better, while you’re wearing the heck out of nearly year-round, it’s not pilling or stretching, because alpaca fiber is extremely long and incredibly strong. We have seen alpaca wool sweaters decades old that still looked great. In fact, we own some.
We could go on about this amazing fiber: how its cultivation allows traditional rural farmers to stay on their lands. How it’s a sustainable clothing brand dating back 5000 years and getting shout-outs from Tupac Yupanqi, Manco Capac and other fourteenth-century Inca celebrities. That’s right: during the Inca Empire alpaca was reserved for the royalty. But whether you’re wearing an alpaca poncho or a long elegant sweater coat, all types of sweaters of alpaca are uniquely silky, soft, and durable, and they’ll make you feel like a million bucks. And that’s what really counts
But lets talk about how to keep this affordable luxury affordable: by not destroying it!
First of all, while alpaca fiber is extremely strong and durable, that doesn’t mean you can take a chain saw to it. Beware of snags, unraveling threads, or moth damage, and when you find a problem, stop wearing it and get it repaired (hint: try asking around a shop that sells knitting supplies). Follow these other rules of the road to keep that item of chic clothing looking great and reeling in the compliments:
Be careful with sharp-edged rings or wristwatches: turn them to the inside or take them off when slipping on your sweater.
Never hang an alpaca sweater or knit jacket on a hanger or a chair. Fold it up neatly and put it on a shelf.
If you’re storing your sweater away for the summer, put it in a sealed plastic bag to protect it from moths. Clothing moths do not live in the environment, they live in your closet. Don’t let these silent destroyers turn your women’s or men’s alpaca sweaters to swiss cheese.
In answer to those who have asked: no, you cannot systematically shrink your alpaca clothing. Unless you also carefully shrink your own arms and torso to match, the sweater will still not fit you when you are finished.
HOW TO WASH A SWEATER
To hand-wash a sweater or alpaca coat you should wash it in cool water with a mild detergent like Woolite or shampoo, gently kneading and squeezing the garment. Don’t wring it rub the surface too much. Adding hair conditioner will make your sweater even softer. After rinsing, you should gently squeeze out the water and lay it flat on a towel to dry.
HOW TO BLOCK A SWEATER
Although you can’t shrink a sweater to size, you can still lengthen or widen it a little bit. This is called blocking the sweater. This works best with heavier sweaters, but can be done on lighter ones to a lesser degree. It’s great when the sleeves are just a little bit too short. First, get your sweater soaking wet. Then, after squeezing out the water, and laying it on a towel, gently pull your alpaca clothing out to the dimensions desired. The sweater should then be weighted with clean heavy objects until it is dry. It will then retain its new shape.
Follow these guidelines and not only will your investment last for many years, but you’ll still be getting compliments on it long after your other sweaters are a distant memory.