Alpaca vs Merino vs Cashmere

close up of alpaca face

 

Merino is among the finest types of wool, known for its great advantages in keeping warm and dry. 

Cashmere is desirable because of its softness and feel, giving comfort and breathability to the user. 

Alpaca's unique and marvelous molecular composition provides the best benefits of Merino and Cashmere; distinct advantages in outdoor performance, while maintaining luxurious comfort.

 
 

Alpaca

Cashmere

Merino

LIGHTEST
Weight:

Lightest

Light

Heavier

Fiber Structure:

Semi-Hollow

Solid

Solid

WARMEST

 

 

 

Thermal Capacity:

✔ 5x Warmer

3x Warmer

Warm

Water Retention:

≈ 0%

Shrinks in Water

30% Absorption of Weight

Solar Radiation Repellent: Yes Yes Yes
SOFTEST
Fiber Scales: Smoothest ✔ Softest Prickled
Microns:(Avg.) 18 14 18
STRONGEST
Tensile Strength: ✔ Highest Weak High
Odor Resistant: Yes Yes Yes
Wrinkle Resistant: Yes Yes Yes
Single Origin: ✔ Yes No No

Hypoallergenic:

(No Lanolin)

Yes Yes No
 
The amazing benefits of Alpaca wool are derived from their millennia-long breeding in the high altitudes of the Andes Mountains. This environment called for a fiber that could handle drastic shifts from sub-zero temperatures to high solar radiation. A fiber with these qualities naturally emerged.

The Naturally Intelligent Fiber:

Microscopic pockets form in the core of fibers, allowing alpaca fleece to be light in weight yet retain more heat.


The Alpaca Fiber's smoother scales stay soft while whisking away moisture from rain or sweat. 

These traits allow the Alpaca to thrive to this day, bringing us the highest performing Mid Layer...
a microscopic view of the alpaca fiber compared to other wool fiber like merino
Merino sheep originate from Spain and were later then introduced to Australia. Considering the natural climates in Australia are mostly warm, these sheep do not have to endure a harsh winter. This means their merino wool fibers are considered finer and softer than other merinos. However, this can cause their wool to not be as durable as other merinos bred in harsh climates. Despite the origin of the animal, all merino animals produce a wax called Lanolin. This wax protects the wool and their skin from the rain; but, it also causes an itchy, allergic reaction to most people. The finer the merino wool, the more the lanolin the merino produces to protect itself. 
Cashmere wool derives from the goat originally found in Mongolia. Only being able to give great warmth and feeling, this wool is not used for outdoor activity. Their lack of durability does not allow them withstand harsh winters or intense outdoor hiking. This is because their fibers are too soft that they break easily.