Fiber Facts: Angora & Alpaca
Two of the cutest fiber animals are angora rabbits and alpacas. They’re both sweet-faced mop tops whose coats make for cozy cold weather wear. I find most wool super itchy, but both angora and alpaca are soft and sensitive enough that they’re welcome additions to my sock and warmer wardrobe and to our special collections of both Alpaca and Angora styles.
Angora rabbits are distinctly fuzzy, a result of the lightness of the fiber that makes up their coats. Soft and silky, the fiber has a fluffy halo that works with hollow fibers to create the ultimate thermal wool. Because it doesn’t have much elasticity it is most often mixed in small amounts with other wools, imparting its softness in a beautiful blend. I also like to think that their natural cuteness gets passed on to the wearer with the wool.
More like hair than wool, Alpaca fleece is strong and lightweight, making it perfect for technical applications. It’s also lanolin-free, making it hypoallergenic. Like angora, it has partially hollow fibers that add to its already impressive thermal abilities, even when wet. I think it’s an added bonus that such a serious, business-like fiber comes from one of the most goofy animals.
Here at Sock Dreams we’ve got some amazing options in both fibers, from sport-ready anklets to crazy cozy legwarmers. After the jump I list a few, and you may be surprised what styles are hiding one of these lovely luxury fibers!
Do you have a favourite in one of these fancy fibers? I love the Orkney Angora Wrist Warmers and the amazing arch support of the Dahlgrens, but I'm wondering how other wool-phobic folks feel about the un-irritating fluffiness of angora and the hypoallergenic aspects of alpaca.