ABOUT ORGANIC ALPACA WOOL
The organic alpaca wool used in Petit Kolibri comes especially from Peru, one of the biggest alpaca fiber exporting countries in South America. With sustainable practices throughout the whole process (from breeding the animals to the production in the workshops), we assure natural and ethically-developed products: none of our products are dyed or chemically treated, the wool is selected by hand and the final products are brought to life in fair conditions by a collective of artisans in Colombia and Peru.
The alpaca wool is a special fiber that is described as extremely warm, hypoallergenic and very soft. Its benefits are not only related to the quality, but to the whole breeding process. These creatures are so much gentler to their ecosystem than other kinds of animals that bear wool: with their soft feet, alpacas can explore their environment without making changes to the landscape, their grazing habits don’t destroy the root systems of the plants they consume, they drink less water than other wool -producing animals and make a considerably larger amount of wool.
SUSTAINABLE ALPACA WOOL
When late spring arrives in the Andes, Indigenous people obtain the high-quality alpaca fiber (the shearing season is between November and March, late fall in the Northern Hemisphere) following also a sustainable line. While alpacas don’t usually enjoy the shearing process itself, they are noticeably more comfortable after their annual “haircut”. Once the fiber is collected it is then hand sorted by experienced people, obtaining 15 natural und undyed shades. Because alpaca is naturally free of lanolin and other oils found in sheep’s wool, no harsh chemicals are needed to process alpaca fiber, making alpaca ranching 100% natural and safe for the environment.
Alpaca fiber is a natural hair made of protein, is naturally biodegradable when disposed and blends back into the earth with a relatively short period of time in contrast with synthetic and other handmade fibers that take longer to degrade and have a negative impact on our environment.
Our products are certified by the Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX®. This standard is a global independent testing and certification system for raw, semi-finished and finished textile products at all stages of production. The certification proves that the finished textile product is free from harmful substances. We only offer you eco-friendly products that take care of your petit.
THERMIC ADAPTABILITY OF ALPACA WOOL
Another remarkable benefit of alpacas wool is the fiber capacity to adapt to the temperature variation. Alpacas have lived at altitudes ranging from 2,500 to over 4,500 meters above the sea level for thousands of years, withstanding extreme weather conditions which can vary from +30ºC to -20ºC in a single day. This noble fiber should have certain special properties, otherwise, the animal would die.
The alpacas have developed a silky, soft and durable fiber that has unique thermal properties due to its microscopic air pockets. These pockets allow your Petit to breath through it on warm days, and likewise, trap body heat in cold weather. Nature could not have designed a better natural insulating fiber.
At Petit Kolibri, we also use organic baby alpaca wool which is not the same as alpaca wool. Baby alpaca wool comes from the underside of the alpaca’s neck, where the fleece is the finest and softest. The age and the specific part of the body that is shaved, make baby alpaca wool softer and cozier than normal alpaca wool.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF ALPACA WOOL
For your baby alpaca clothes and accessories please hand wash with love and gentle soap in cold water (using hot water will “shock” the fibers, making them mat together and start turning into felt). Avoid twisting, wringing, scrubbing, or otherwise agitating it, as this will cause felting. Rinse with water and if you want to use softener, just pour a bit of vinegar to the water and you will get a soft finishing and nice feeling. The smell of vinegar will disappear when the garment is dry. Try not to use chlorine bleach or even Woolite, as these harsh cleaners will cause damage.
For drying, we recommend finding a place where there is good air, on top of a surface (try not to hang it since it may lose its shape). If the garment is wrinkled after drying, you can steam it lightly with an iron, or simply hang it up in the bathroom, run the shower, and let the steam ease away the creases.