Alpaca Wool Guide

Alpaca Wool is growing in popularity in the fashion apparel and home textile industry due to its very soft, warm, and versatile properties. It is also hypoallergenic and a sustainable alternative to traditional wool fabrics.

This guide explores the much-loved alpaca wool, its benefits, and how to take proper care of it. Whether you're looking for something delicate or sustainable, this guide has all the information you need to make smart choices when buying and using alpaca wool products.

Three to four times warmer than sheep’s wool, using alpaca within our luxury, natural fibre socks is a no brainer.
The helix structure of alpaca fibres provide the wearer with an insulating layer of warmth and with moisture wicking qualities, any perspiration will be removed from the surface of the skin. The redistribution of moisture throughout a pair of alpaca socks will mean that your feet stay warm and dry throughout the day.

Where Our Alpaca Is Sourced From?

 We source our alpaca yarn from the Andes in Peru which have set the standards for luxury, high quality fibres that are robust and durable.
Our alpaca socks are hand linked in Leicestershire which adds an interesting and organic touch to an opulent product and with three types of sock (everyday, walking and bed), you’ll find the perfect pair to keep your feet warm throughout the day.
Peruvian alpaca luxury natural fibre knitwear

Continue reading to discover five fantastic facts that will make a pair of Paul James Knitwear alpaca socks a wardrobe staple.

Benefits Of Alpaca Wool 

Odour Repellent

Alpaca fibres don’t retain water and successfully move moisture away from the surface of the knit. This means that over time, you will perspire less, and your alpaca knitwear will require less washing and up-keep. They don’t contain grease, oil, or lanolin (a naturally occurring wax found in wool) which means that not only does the wearer not smell, but the knit doesn’t either.


With fibre lengths ranging from 10-20cm, alpacas have a very light and fine fleece, this makes their wool ideal for spinning into luxury yarn. Its uber soft, ultra-warm surface texture makes alpaca perfect for accessories and for everyday wear. It is also a naturally hypoallergenic fibre which makes alpaca suitable for those with sensitive skin and allergies.



When cared for correctly, thanks to the fibre length, a pair of alpaca socks will withstand the test of time. Alpaca has a higher tensile strength (the ability to be stretched) than sheep’s wool which make it an unusually strong fibre, considering its butter soft surface texture.



Thanks to the long fibre length, alpaca knitwear is incredibly resistant to pilling which is where short fibres are brought to the surface of the knit. You’ll keep the ultra-soft surface texture (which will get fluffier over time) without having to comb through the small bobbles.


Like sheep, alpaca grow a new coat every 12 months which make it a sustainable, renewable fibre. Due to the varying weather conditions that alpaca are often faced with, shearing is an important process to ensure that they don’t overheat when the summer sun arrives. Alpaca are rarely farmed on a large commercial scale, instead, flocks are owned by small, independent family farms and the sale of alpaca fibre creates valuable income.

Can Alpaca Wool Be Washed?

Yes, you can wash Alpaca wool, but you need to take special care of it, so the fibres don't get damaged. The best way to clean it is by using mild detergent and cool water. You can also use your washing machine's gentle cycle. But do not use hot water or bleach because it will damage the fabric. Additionally, make sure you go for a low spin cycle to help prevent shrinkage.
Choose a mild detergent or soap made for wool to clean alpaca wool. Do not use fabric softeners or bleach because they can ruin the fibres and change the feel of the fabric.
If alpaca wool is wet, be wary not to stretch or pull it because this could cause the material to lose its shape. The best way to dry it is by pressing out any additional water and then letting it lie flat until it is completely dry.
Ensure you have checked the care label before washing alpaca wool apparel and textiles for extra safety and care. Some products can only be dry cleaned without putting them in the washing machine.
To sum it up, when washing alpaca wool, you should use mild soap and cold water. You should never use hot water, bleach, or wring. Always double-check the care label before washing.

Does Alpaca Wool Shrink? 

Alpaca wool can shrink if you do not take proper care of it. Use cold water when washing so that alpaca wool clothes and textiles won’t shrink. Avoid using hot water, bleach, or wringing the wool. Additionally, be sure to utilise a low-spin cycle on the washing machine or lay it flat for drying.
It is also essential to know that Alpaca wool may shrink when exposed to high temperatures. This can happen during ironing or drying them in the machine.
Remember to check the care label before washing. Some alpaca wool products have been pre-shrunk, which means it is less likely to shrink when washing them.
In conclusion, Alpaca wool will not shrink as much as other wool types if you take good care of it and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
To protect your garments, use cool water on a low spin cycle or lay them flat to dry. Do not use hot water, bleach, or wring out the garment. You should check the care label before washing it.

Is Alpaca Wool Soft?

Yes, Alpaca wool is very soft because its fibres are thinner than sheep's wool. They also have a natural shine and silky texture. But the level of softness can also depend on how the wool is treated or processed, and the weight and thickness of the fabric. In general, weightier fabrics tend to be less cosy than featherweight alternatives.

All in all, Alpaca wool is famous for how soft it is. The fibres are smoother and thinner than other wool types. They don't create itchiness and have a natural lustre.

Is Alpaca Wool Warm?

Yes, alpaca wool is very warm. Alpaca wool fibres are very special because they have a hollow inside that makes them light and able to trap heat. Additionally, the wool does not hold moisture, so it keeps you dry and comfortable when wearing it.

Alpaca wool is a perfect choice for people with sensitive skin or allergies. The fibres are naturally hypoallergenic and free of lanolin, which is an oily material found in sheep's wool that can cause itching and other allergic reactions.

When choosing clothes made from alpaca wool, the weight and thickness of the fabric are important aspects to consider. A heavier knit or woven fabric will keep you warmer than a lightweight piece. Additionally, alpaca wool is soft and breathable, so wearing multiple layers allows you to adjust your comfort level in response to changing weather conditions or your activity level.

Is Alpaca Wool Itchy?

It is widely believed that alpaca wool is better than sheep wool because it does not irritate the skin. Alpaca wool is smooth and does not have lanolin, which can cause allergies. If you have sensitive skin or allergies, alpaca wool is a good choice for you.

It's important to be aware that some people might still feel itchy when wearing clothes made of alpaca wool, even if the wool is of high quality. The way the wool is processed, how heavy and thick it is, and what other fibres are mixed with it - all affect how itchy it can be. When buying clothes made of alpaca wool, make sure to have these things in mind so you can be comfortable and happy with your brand-new alpaca wool clothes.