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Warp & Weft Blog

Alpaca: From Peru to Nantucket

Alpaca: From Peru to Nantucket

Alpaca has been a favorite of ours at Nantucket Looms since the late 1960’s when our throw blankets were first designed. 48 years since their original introduction at Nantucket Looms, we are excited to finally launch our collection of handwoven alpaca throws online. Softer than cashmere and warmer than sheep's wool, alpaca is truly something special. Learn more about why we love this wonderful fiber below.  

There is a long list of reasons why we love this luxuriously soft and warm fiber. Alpaca is naturally hypoallergenic, which makes it especially great for those who have sensitive skin or those are allergic to wool. Although it is a light-weight fiber, alpaca is surprisingly warm (something we really appreciate during these cold Nantucket winters!) What's even better is during cold weather, alpaca traps the body's heat in tiny air pockets within the fiber but when the weather is warmer the heat is released, making this a wonderful choice for year-round garments and blankets. Alpaca is also extremely strong, has a beautifully elegant drape and keeps its 'new' appearance for longer as it has less tendency to felt. To add to the long list of reasons why alpaca is our favorite - we are simply fascinated by the friendly and adorable animals it comes from!

Alpaca wool is harvested from the alpaca - a New World Camelid native to Peru. The alpaca were domesticated thousands of years ago and can be found in the artwork of ancient civilizations such as the Incas. Historically, alpaca wool, which was referred to as 'The Fiber of the Gods' was treasured by the Incas. Alpaca are now one of the rarest species on the planet, with only three million worldwide. Today, alpaca wool is cherished not only for its scarcity but also for its multitude of natural attributes.


Nantucket Looms Handwoven Alpaca Throws and Scarves:

With a more limited availability than our mohair and cotton throws, alpaca throws are the most versatile of our handwovens, given the unusual properties of the fiber, and perhaps our most contemporary design due to the geometric patterns incorporated into the weave structure. Brought to life by the hands of skillful local weavers in our Main Street, Nantucket studio using 100% Peruvian alpaca; our collection of Alpaca Throws and Scarves are inspired by the natural landscape of Nantucket. From Mist Gray to Ice Blue, the colors of these handwoven throws and scarves represent the ever changing seasons of the island. 

Care Guide:

Alpaca is strong and with proper care, will last a lifetime. We strongly recommend dry clean only. Treat your handwoven alpaca throws and scarves with the gentle care they deserve. Please do not wash, wring, hang or twist. With the right care, you can enjoy your alpaca handwovens for generations.

Discover the wonderful charm of Alpaca by clicking here to browse our collection of handwoven alpaca throws - now available online for the first time.