Fibre of the Gods
The Incas of South America started to selectively breed from wild Guanacos and Vicunas about 6,000 years ago. Lamas were the bigger and stronger animals, developed to carry loads, whilst Alpacas were the fleece bearers. Evidence from burial sites makes clear that the Incas developed the Alpaca fleece to an even higher level than we have available today. They called it the ‘Fibre of the Gods’. One of our aims as an industry is to return the Alpaca to that pinnacle of perfection as producer of the most outstanding fibre.
Alpaca is still considered one of the ‘Noble Fibres’, along with Cashmere and Mohair. Alpaca is not only soft and luxurious, it is also amazingly hard wearing, making it a great choice when it comes to sock manufacture.
The high insulating properties of this hollow fibre mean that our socks can be lightweight yet warm at the same time. Alpaca fibre can keep you warm or cool depending on prevailing conditions. Unlike sheep’s fleece, Alpaca has very few prickly guard hairs; if you can't wear ordinary wool next to the skin, you will almost certainly be fine with alpaca. Also, Alpaca is a dry fleece with no lanolin which gives it hypoallergenic qualities.
Our range of luxury Alpaca Socks is exclusively produced for us in Britain. Using fleece collected in the West of England by UK Alpacas – including our complete production of ‘Charlton Alpacas fibre’ – our yarn is scoured and carded in Wales, spun in Yorkshire, dyed in Lancashire and then knitted by J.Alex Swift Ltd, fourth generation sock knitters from Hathern, near Loughborough.
We have selected an exciting range of colour combinations, unique to ‘Charlton Alpacas’, and our socks contain an unusually high proportion of fine grade alpaca fibre. This makes them very much the top end of the range. We know that you will enjoy wearing these wonderful socks. If you can bear to part with them, then you will also find that they make ideal and very welcome gifts.
Our socks have gone to the Antarctic Research Station, on several Himalayan expeditions and way beyond the Arctic Circle. They are worn by Policemen, Life Boat Crews and celebrity Garden Designers. They have even found their way onto the feet of one or two ‘Royals’.
Professional climbers report that they can wear their alpaca socks for days, or even weeks on end with no unpleasant ‘pong’. This naturally breathable material repels bacteria and their resulting odours. Too good to be true? Try a pair for yourself and find out.