FIELD NOTES

Our Planet | Vol. 2

Side Notes

FIELD NOTES

Our Planet | Vol. 2

Side Notes

FIELD NOTES

Our Planet | Vol. 2

Side Notes

Since its inception, clothing has communicated social allegiance, with uncommon materials and intricate designs reserved (often by law) for those of a certain rank. Even as these defining lines become increasingly blurred, as this Quartz article explores, the original premise remains: The quality and rarity of a garment — notably, the inability to recreate it on a mass scale — is what determines its prestige, with superior, scarce items considered luxury products. Alpaca knits fit the bill.

Since its inception, clothing has communicated social allegiance, with uncommon materials and intricate designs reserved (often by law) for those of a certain rank. Even as these defining lines become increasingly blurred, as this Quartz article explores, the original premise remains: The quality and rarity of a garment — notably, the inability to recreate it on a mass scale — is what determines its prestige, with superior, scarce items considered luxury products. Alpaca knits fit the bill.

For starters, they’re warmer and more durable than their more common wool counterparts, like cashmere knits, and just as soft and lightweight. Alpaca is also naturally water repellant and its longer fiber length makes it less likely to pill, fray or break. As far as status goes: The yarn was once reserved exclusively for ancient Incan royalty. 

Today, alpaca remains a Peruvian mainstay, with nearly 80% of the animal’s four-million-strong population residing in the country. The bulk belong to local herdsman and indigenous communities who raise them on a small scale, using traditional, renewable methods. Once a year, they shave them humanely, by hand. Each alpaca yields about five pounds of fiber, which is then hand sorted by staple length and diameter (read: fine to coarse) and cleaned using a mild, biodegradable detergent before being spun into yarn.

Since its inception, clothing has communicated social allegiance, with uncommon materials and intricate designs reserved (often by law) for those of a certain rank. Even as these defining lines become increasingly blurred, as this Quartz article explores, the original premise remains: The quality and rarity of a garment — notably, the inability to recreate it on a mass scale — is what determines its prestige, with superior, scarce items considered luxury products. Alpaca knits fit the bill.

For starters, they’re warmer and more durable than their more common wool counterparts, like cashmere knits, and just as soft and lightweight. Alpaca is also naturally water repellant and its longer fiber length makes it less likely to pill, fray or break. As far as status goes: The yarn was once reserved exclusively for ancient Incan royalty. 

Today, alpaca remains a Peruvian mainstay, with nearly 80% of the animal’s four-million-strong population residing in the country. The bulk belong to local herdsman and indigenous communities who raise them on a small scale, using traditional, renewable methods. Once a year, they shave them humanely, by hand. Each alpaca yields about five pounds of fiber, which is then hand sorted by staple length and diameter (read: fine to coarse) and cleaned using a mild, biodegradable detergent before being spun into yarn.

Thanks to strict national regulation, this process has changed little over the years, which makes alpaca farming more of a traditional, artisan craft than a commercialized, difficult-to-regulate industry. As a biproduct, Alpaca yarn is eco-friendlier and falls under Fair Trade guidelines.

 

Add it all up and, for us, that’s true luxury.

 

Did we mention it is also available in nearly 40 natural shades? We chose two complementary hues for our Zoey Sweater.

Thanks to strict national regulation, this process has changed little over the years, which makes alpaca farming more of a traditional, artisan craft than a commercialized, difficult-to-regulate industry. As a biproduct, Alpaca yarn is eco-friendlier and falls under Fair Trade guidelines.

 

Add it all up and, for us, that’s true luxury.

 

Did we mention it is also available in nearly 40 natural shades? We chose two complementary hues for our Zoey Sweater.