ive been reading the forums about down alternatives & i see wools get a mention, but i couldnt find a particular thread on alpaca.
i got 2kgs of raw fleece & was thinking of making an underquilt with some but not sure of the best way to go about it.
should i make baffles & just stuff the fleece in like cotton balls, or should i make some batting or felt it into a blanket & quilt it?
i read that alpacas warmth is comparable to down (some say warmer) & is very light too due to the semi hollow fiber & it recovers from compression very well. wool also retains its warmth when wet so i thought it might be worth giving it a go.
i also got some rabbit angora & was thinking of adding a layer to the UQ if i go the quilting method, would i add that to the inner layer?
also should i use a ripstop nylon for the shell or maybe go for a silk fabric, or do you think if the wool gets wet the weight might tear it?
does anyone know of a source for ripstop silk like sea to summit uses for their sleeping bag liners?
any advice would be greatly appreciated
please add a comment, im interested to know what you think.
heres some info from research on alpaca fiber
-(some claims are from sites selling alpaca products therefore may be exaggerated)
a three-pound comforter filled with (lamb's) wool batting is as warm as a five-pound all-wool blanket, because it holds more dead air. "
Horace Kephart "Camping and Woodcraft"
The protein core will absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without becoming damp or clammy.
Like wool, alpaca retains about 80% of it's insulative value when it is wet, but alpaca doesn’t get the unpleasant “wet sheep” smell that goes with wet wool.
Alpaca batting is extremely light weight, warm, and cozy. Nothing is finer than filling your quilt or comforter cover with alpaca batting. It contains microscopic air pockets that have high insulation values and makes it exceptionally warm for its weight.
As warm as a down comforter but less fill is needed to keep you warm so you won't get hot and sweaty underneath. Alpaca wool comforters are a great alternative for those who cannot tolerate down.
An alpaca wool duvet will absorb up to 35% of its weight in moisture, keeping you dry and comfortable while you sleep.
Highly regarded by outdoor enthusiasts, garments made from alpaca offer wonderfully cozy, featherweight warmth that sheep’s wool, goose down or even the new synthetic fabrics like Gortex and polar fleece cannot possibly begin to compete with.
Alpaca fur is 10 times warmer, stronger and lighter than sheeps wool or any man-made fibre. It is even warmer than goose down, yet breathes better than thermal knits.
Suri alpaca fibre has the softness of cashmere, lustre of silk, warmth and featherweight of goose down and the durability of wool.
Other than duvets filled with high quality pure 800 loft goose down or pure eiderdown, Alpaca is the lighest fill available today. It is even lighter than silk!
Loft and resiliency
Alpaca quilts have good loft and as the thermal efficiency of alpaca fleece is significantly higher than wool, alpaca quilts do not need to be bulky or heavy in weight to maintain warmth.
Depending on the type or combination of wool used as fill (i.e. llama, alpaca, sheep), your wool comforter may feel nearly as light as one filled with goose down. The crimps in wool fibers makes wool fill particularly versatile, forming a cohesive batting without chemical binders. A comforter made of pure wool fill won't lose its shape, separate into clumps or shift.
Resilient wool filling will not shift into corners and bunch up when wet, staying evenly fluffed. Scientific tests have shown that wool will restore itself to 95 percent of its original thickness when compressed, compared to synthetic substitutes that achieved between 67 and 79 percent loft. No matter how it is crushed, pulled or twisted, pure wool fill will spring back to its original thickness. A wool comforter will wick moisture from the body and allow for a comfortable and dry night's rest.