Alpaca Outdoor Apparel
Is Alpaca wool more or less itchy than Merino?
Fibers under a microscope
Scales can cause you to feel itchy.
Under a microscope, we take a look at the alpaca and merino fibers. These tiny scales on the side of each fiber are what causes an "itchy" feeling. On the merino photo, we see more defined scales while the scales on the alpaca fibers are smoother. Against the skin, you could find alpaca itchy as well. However, its more likely that merino wool be itchier than alpaca.
Lanolin a grease found in most wool like merino and llama. This grease can cause people to breakout in rashes and severe itchy-feeling against the skin. It takes loads of chemicals and water to remove this itchy wax. Alpaca wool is naturally free from lanolin and is considered a hypo-allergenic wool.
A micron determines the size of one fiber. The bigger the micron (size of the fiber), the thicker the fiber and the more you feel it against your skin. Most merino wool found in the market is about 19 microns and above. And most alpaca wool found is about 19 to 20 microns. However, we use alpaca wool made of 18 -18.5 microns, which is rare.
The finer the microns (lower the number), the softer than wool feels. So, if you buy a sweater of 19 microns and one of 18 microns, the 18 micron sweater will feel the softest!
Alpaca wool has smoother scales that make it feel less itchy than merino.
Alpaca has no lanolin grease and is hypo-allergenic.
18 to 18.5 Microns
We use the finest alpaca wool called Royal Alpaca. Most alpaca wool clothes are about 19 microns and above.