The best kind of sweater is an alpaca wool sweater . . . right?
As you shop on Main Street, in malls and online for your new best sweater, you’ll be inundated with the latest designs, and no doubt you’ll be checking the price tags. But do you check the material used to create your new favorite garment before purchasing? Probably not.
Chances are that your wardrobe, your friends’ wardrobes and nearly every wardrobe in America is full of fast fashion clothing made of synthetic materials, such as polyester, nylon and acrylic. But, as we see a rise in sustainability awareness and the demand for eco-friendly, fairtrade products, it has never been more important to be aware of what you’re wearing.
Alpaca wool is the best material for sweaters, no two ways about it. It’s the ideal sweater material and here are the reasons why:
- Hypoallergenic – Alpaca’s don’t produce any lanolin, which is the oil often found in natural materials that some people can find irritating or are allergic to. Therefore their wool is an amazingly soft and friendly material on skin for the vast majority of us.
- Sustainable – Our fluffy friends, the alpacas, actually produce more wool than the more commonly used source, sheep. When shorn, an alpaca’s wool will regrow naturally, making it a truly renewable material source, which is why we should all be aiming to wear alpaca wool.
- Insulation – The thermal benefits of alpaca wool are huge. It’s over three times more insulating than sheep’s wool.
- Non-Itchy – The fibers of alpaca wool are super small and fine, making them smooth to touch and very gentle on skin. It’s rare that anyone would consider Alpaca to be an itchy material at all.
- Lightweight – Inside the fibers of alpaca wool are tiny little air pockets that enable a lightweight finish without affecting the thermal capabilities.
- High Quality – As well as being non-itchy, alpaca wool fibers are stretchy and flexible while also being superior in strength to many other alternatives, such as merino wool.
- Reasonable Cost – Alpaca wool is not the cheapest, but it is reasonably priced when all the factors and benefits listed above are taken into consideration. There are also many alpaca blend materials available, so that if you’re not ready to invest in some 100% alpaca apparel, you can at least be one step closer to a sustainable wardrobe than you would be otherwise.
Surely it’s easy to see that paying a little extra for an alpaca wool sweater has benefits far beyond the cost difference. So, to make your wardrobe a little wiser, your sweater a bit more sustainable and spread the good word and wear of one of the best fashion materials out there, opt for an alpaca wool sweater the next time you’re shopping.
We’ve herded together 10 of the best alpaca sweaters available to buy online. We’ve included both men’s and women’s options, so there’s no excuse for giving the gift of a synthetic sweater anymore. It’s alpaca wool for the win.
1. Raymis Alpaca Sweater
For an all-pleasing alpaca wool sweater, look no further than this Raymis Alpaca Sweater. It’s modestly priced for a 100% alpaca wool, Fair Trade sweater and is available in sizes from small to large. There are four different color options available, all of which showcase traditional, Andean patterns that follow the neck and bottom hems with their horizontal design. For non-itchy insulation this winter, look no further than this Raymis sweater.
2. Alpaca Warehouse Sweater
Finding an alpaca wool sweater for under $50.00 is one of the best things to happen to you today. Alpaca Warehouse produces this quality and comfortable sweater to be available in 14 different color variations and sizes medium to extra extra large. There’s a white-colored band with diamond-shaped details that follows the trim of the sweater all the way around, even over the hood. The zip-up design may be less convenient than others, but it’s sure to keep you extra warm over your other clothes.
3. RealPeruvianAlpaca Men’s Sweater
If you’re looking for a truly authentic alpaca wool sweater, then this might be the best one for you. There are over 10 styles to choose from at the time of order, including two with Andean alpaca patterns. These pieces are hand-knitted in Peru and are available in sizes small to large. We love the half-sweater designs and the muted colors available. You’ll make a fashionable splash with any of these sweaters this winter.
4. Casa De Alpaca Poncho
Add some color and charisma to your wardrobe with this hooded Casa De Alpaca Poncho. The beautifully bright designs are all handmade in Ecuador and are Fair Trade. There’s a button at the neckline for securely fastening the head opening, and the full piece measures 50 by 70 inches. So, there’s plenty of room to wrap you up and get warm. This definitely isn’t the most fashionable item on our list, but we’re confident you can pull it off.
5. Gamboa Alpaca Sweater
BEST HEAVY KNIT SWEATER
This alpaca sweater from Gamboa is one of the most fashionable in our selection. It’s handmade in Peru and has a heavy knit design that follows the vertical lines of the sweater. It’s available in blue, dark gray and light gray. Thanks to the monotone design, this sweater could be worn for both formal and casual occasions. It certainly won’t get any funny looks, and you’ll be able to tell everyone about its eco-friendly origins when they compliment you on it.
6. Gamboa Alpaca Sweater Cardigan
BEST MENS CARDIGAN
If you like a zipper in your sweater and a hood on your head, then this cardigan design from Gamboa might be your alpaca sweater match. It’s available in six different color variations that all keep the same Andean pattern including some small alpaca designs. As with all of Gamboa’s products, this sweater is designed and made in Peru. You’ll love how soft this cardigan feels on your skin.
7. Gamboa Alpaca Sweater
This is the sweater that we all think of when someone mentions alpaca wool. Its horizontal Andean pattern includes a repeating alpaca among other geometric shapes. You can choose from sizes small to extra large, so why not get the whole family matching in this super comfy and eco-friendly sweater? We personally love this slightly retro color scheme, but if you don’t, Gamboa has a whole range of fashionable alpaca sweaters to check out.
8. NOVICA Alpaca Poncho
Ponchos are great for wrapping up to stay warm, and they’re even better when they’re made with alpaca wool. This striped design from NOVICA is a 50% alpaca and 50% acrylic blend, which means it’s more affordable than a pure alpaca poncho would be. NOVICA takes pride in ensuring that their products are fair trade and of the highest quality. So, each purchase comes complete with a small card on which they guarantee this fact.
9. J.Crew Alpaca Blend Sweater
BEST WOMEN’S ALPACA SWEATER
Alpaca wool is finding its way into many big fashion labels, and this beautiful sweater from J.Crew is a testament to that. The grey cable knit base pattern is decorated with smaller pom-pom-like details. It’s available in a huge range of sizes, all the way from XXS to triple XL. If you’re shopping for a loved one, this may be the ideal treat for the fashionable female in your life.
10. Stella McCartney Alpaca Cardigan
If alpaca wool is good enough for Stella McCartney, then it’s definitely a welcome addition to any woman’s wardrobe. This lovely, oat-colored cardigan is made in Italy from a 75% wool and 25% alpaca mix. It’s designed for a relaxed, baggy fit and is super lightweight for easy wearing. Perfect for the office or for a casual Sunday, this is a staple wardrobe piece every woman should have on hand.