Luxury fashion's best kept secret
We believe alpaca is a yarn worthy of greater recognition. It is a beautiful yarn with incredible properties and its production in the Andes in Peru continues to support communities and traditions that have existed for thousands of years.
At Poetry we first discovered alpaca yarn in 2007, attracted initially by its softness and textured appearance. Since then, we have discovered many more possibilities for the yarn. From knitting with different stitches to combining with other yarns such as wool and cotton, alpaca now plays a key role in all our autumn winter collections.
From the beginning we have sourced all our alpaca yarn from Michell, Peru’s oldest alpaca mill. We are proud to have Michell as partners due to their long-term commitment to support the farmers, the wider community and the environment.
A unique fibre with amazing qualities
Alpaca wool fibres are unusually long which makes the yarn stronger, gives it a natural lustre and reduces the amount of pilling. The fibres are also very fine which explains why alpaca is so incredibly soft. And the fibres are hollow, which gives the alpaca wool excellent thermal qualities. Soft, strong, warm and with low pilling – alpaca ticks all the boxes for luxurious knitwear.
Twenty natural shades
By sorting the fibre, it is possible to create around twenty natural shades of alpaca ranging from dark browns through to pale neutrals. Using these natural colours avoids the need to dye the yarn which means it not only feels softer, it also means the yarn will be fully biodegradable at the end of its life.
One of the most environmentally friendly natural fibres
Alpacas roam freely in the Andean highlands with very low impact on their environment:
- Alpacas have padded feet that are gentle and do not harm the earth, in contrast to goats’ and sheep’s hooves which can cause land degradation
- When alpacas graze, they do not damage or destroy root systems, so land is left unharmed and plants continue to grow
- Alpacas require less water and food to thrive than goats and sheep
- Alpaca fibre is free from lanolin or grease which makes it easy to wash without intensive detergents or chemicals
- One alpaca will produce enough fleece each year to create several sweaters, a much higher yield than goats and sheep.