Llama Fiber vs. Merino Wool
Merino is a fine grade of wool, but requires super-washing to reduce the scale that causes the itch and shrinkage common to wool garments. Acid washing followed by resin washing reduces the scale, improves the softness, and shrinkage is reduced. However, reduced scale reduces fabric strength and the altered fiber surface decreases wicking efficiency.
Use of these chemical agents increases the environmental impacts of an otherwise natural, low impact product. Llama fiber’s low scale and naturally soft handle require no alteration and its wicking advantage is markedly higher. Wool is a solid fiber and has a lower warmth/weight ratio than hollow llama fiber. Llama fiber is hypoallergenic, and has a significantly higher resistance to UV light.