Alpaca Wool Vs. Cashmere Wool

If you are always on the lookout for winter wear made from premium natural fibers, you must have heard of alpaca and cashmere. Both are famous for being luxurious, soft, and hypoallergenic.

So, what’s the difference? Alpaca wool comes from Alpaca, a came-lid mammal species from South America. Cashmere wool comes from goats of Kashmir.

The colder months are here, and you must have taken out your winter staples, from turtlenecks to boots. Many of you must also be planning to refresh your winter wardrobes. Should you pick a cashmere sweater or a Peruvian handmade baby alpaca wear? The appropriate combination of warmth, softness, durability, sustainability, and insulation should determine your choice. 

Alpaca and cashmere both vie for the “best winter-wear fiber”, but which is better? Let’s take a look at the characteristics of each and the key differences.

Alpaca Fiber Characteristics

Light, soft, luxurious yet strong and durable - the perfect description of Peruvian alpaca wear. The fiber consists of millions of microscopic air pockets because of the hollow core, making alpaca a great insulator. 

Alpaca fibers are also moisture-wicking. 

Don’t let the softness of the fiber fool you. The thick alpaca coat can survive the harshest of temperatures. Alpacas have a thick coat to survive in extreme weather. 

The fiber is shrinkage and pilling resistant, so with little care, your Peruvian handmade baby alpaca wear will stay as good as new for years to come. 

Alpaca winter wear is also a friend to those with sensitive skin. Unlike wool types that may consist of skin irritation-causing lanolin, alpaca is hypoallergenic.

Cashmere Fiber Characteristics

You will find cashmere pieces in many luxury clothing boutiques. The fiber is loved for its incredible softness and light-weight. Although not as insulated, it does ooze out warmth and comfort.

Cashmere has a delicate fiber structure, making it a not-so-popular choice for heavy-duty outerwear. However, it is soft like a cloud and hypoallergenic, which makes it a nice layering piece for chilly weather in the colder season.  

When it comes to care and maintenance, your cashmere pieces require special attention. The fiber is susceptible to shrinking and can lose its softness if not handled carefully.

Three Key Differences: Alpaca and Cashmere


Cashmere is warm and snugly, but alpaca is the winner here. The unique fiber structure and excellent insulating property make it effective when it comes to retaining body heat.


Pilling is a common cashmere phenomenon (unlike alpaca wear), making the garment look worn out if not taken proper care of. So, alpaca pieces are more durable and resistant to wear and tear, while cashmere is quite delicate.


Sustainability, when it comes to natural fibers, is more than whether they are biodegradable or not. The environmental impacts of cashmere are not great. The rise in demand has led to over-breeding, affecting agricultural practices and causing grassland desertification in Central Asia regions. Raising alpacas, on the other hand, does not impact the environment negatively, making alpaca wear a sustainable choice. 

Let’s do some winter shopping now!! Check out Peru Gift Shop for ethically-made premium Peruvian handmade baby alpaca wear - designer sweaters, ponchos, turtleneck vests, and more

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