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Cashmere vs. Alpaca: What to Choose For This Winter?

Difference between cashmere and alpaca

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Winter is coming which means that the slightly darker and much colder days are upon us.

But, winter is also a season of holiday and many get-togethers, so it is better to prepare yourself with a top-notch, comfortable and warm winter wardrobe.

If you take a close look at the market, you will find many different types of wardrobe designed for the winter period.

Choosing the best pieces of clothing is usually associated with the material that they are made of.

There are currently two luxurious materials that are very trendy – cashmere and alpaca.

Most people don’t know much about these materials, so they want to learn which one is better and why.

In this article, we will compare cashmere with alpaca and help you make the best choice.

Cashmere

We will start by analyzing cashmere, our lovely and precious material, which is probably more popular.

Cashmere vs. Alpaca trends
Worldwide trends for cashmere and alpaca since 2004

People in the region of Cashmere in Asia have used cashmere wool (obtained from goats) for many centuries.

They’ve usually used it to make special shawls and sweaters to protect themselves during the cold days.


Related ReadingWhat is cashmere and why is so expensive?


However, this strong, lightweight and soft material became a real hit in the world of fashion in the 1980s.

This is the period when many globally renowned designers have discovered the potential of cashmere and included it in a wide range of clothes – from sweatpants and jackets to hats and gloves.

Today, cashmere is considered to be the most luxurious wool because of many different reasons.

For instance, the manufacturing process is long and defined and carried precisely which is definitely something that we should respect today when everything is produced in a hurry.

True cashmere is made of fibers obtained from the lower undercoat of the fleece of cashmere goats.

Premium quality fibers are over 36 mm long.

Alpaca

When some of the couturiers realized that the market is overwhelmed with cashmere products, they have decided to look for an alternative that can match cashmere’s qualities.

One of these materials was alpaca.

Alpaca animals
Image source: GoodOnYou.org.au

Alpaca is actually a close cousin to the llamas and camels.

Just like in the case of cashmere, people in Peru have used alpaca fiber to make clothes for hundreds of years.

So, it took a while before the fashionistas from around the globe have realized that they can use this material for luxurious clothes.

Even though there were some efforts to popularize alpaca in the past, cashmere was always considered to be more luxurious.

However, with the involvement of high-end designers things have changed.

Some people consider alpaca to be a little bit softer, more luxurious and trendy, lighter and even warmer than cashmere.

In addition, they like to point out that there are more than 450 million cashmere goats and less than 4 million alpacas in the world.

Finally, this is a more sustainable material.

The bottom line

There is no doubt that both cashmere and alpaca are materials that have extraordinary characteristics.

If you ask experts, some of them might say that cashmere is better while others will opt for alpaca.

What is really important to understand is that not all of these materials have the same quality.

For instance, there is 100% cashmere and there is cashmere with lower quality.

On the other hand, there is two breeds of Alpacas – Suri and Huacaya and the fibers of these breeds have different characteristics.

So, sometimes cashmere is better than alpaca and vice versa.

The good news is that both of these materials are available online and you don’t have to pay a small fortune to buy clothes made of these materials so you can personally try which one suits you the best.

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