Alpaca wool is a specialty fibre that has been described as stronger than mohair, finer than cashmere and smoother than silk. It essentially combines the best of everything we have naturally available to us, in one helpful little package.
After researching the benefits of Alpaca wool, in the prevention of blisters the softest animal wool that could be found was from baby Alpacas. Although it is more expensive than older Alpaca shearing it is much softer and boasts less than a 20-micron count. Alpaca wool is less coarse than the other animal wools, with a reduced `prickle` factor which is related to its low micron count, making it more comfortable to wear in-between the toes, almost undetectable and soon forgotten about.
When we both trained as a Podiatrists, we used animal wool for the prevention of pressure points on the foot and we had great feedback from the patients. Unfortunately, like most things, animal wool went out of fashion!
Alpacas do come in many colours, but we have chosen the whiter wools for this blister prevention strategy.
Our Alpaca wool is washed, picked, and carded before it is ready for use and no Alpacas were harmed in the process!
Please read below for our frequently asked Q&A regarding Alpaca wool in the prevention of foot blisters
How does Alpaca wool work at preventing blisters on the foot?
By its very nature alpaca wool naturally wicks any moisture away from the skin which prevents blisters from forming. Friction is another contributor to the cause of blisters and is normally generated by the movement of the skin, footwear, and socks. The fibres of the wool absorb the friction amongst themselves and the skin is left blister-free. The wool is stain-resistant, water repellent, and odourless, which is great when used on the feet, especially in-between the toes.
What blister problems on the feet, would Alpaca wool work for?
For those people who suffer from blisters in between or on the top of the toes, it is best to weave the wool around the toes in a figure of eight fashion, from the larger toe to the smallest toe. If you have an existing blister, that already has a dressing on, you can still use the wool to prevent further friction, pressure, and blisters
Blisters on the back of the heel or the edges of the feet, try placing a small amount of the wool next to the skin, the sock will keep it in place.
Blisters on the top of the foot from the tongue of the shoe, where the laces have been a bit tight. Place a small amount of alpaca wool between the skin and the sock, preventing those painful blisters on the top of the foot.
Ballet dancers going “En Pointe” is a toe-blister nightmare but a little nest of Alpaca wool between toes and the block, will help protect those delicate areas that have a huge amount of pressure from the body when dancing. The wool will cushion and wick the moisture away from the skin making it the natural choice to help dancers to do their amazing job, blister free!
Ice skating and ski boots are very hard on the ankles and the front of the shin, alpaca wool placed between the skin and the sock on these high-pressure areas, will pay dividends in blister prevention.
We advise the wearers of Armaskin blister liner socks, to use the alpaca wool woven through the toes. Sometimes, the natural compression of the armaskin material can push the toes closer together, especially when competing in a long event, when the feet will fill with fluid. The wool then prevents that in-between toe blister problem. The military often uses this combination to help them get through their arduous courses.
How long will a 20gm bag of Alpaca last?
Alpaca wool is extremely lightweight and very compact, so you won’t notice any difference when putting it into your backpack. It comes in a small cotton drawstring bag that contains 20g. The wool will weave in and around all the toes on both feet generously, for at least 12 days and that is with replacing the wool daily.
Can Alpaca wool be reused?
No, to ensure the best results, we recommend that Alpaca wool is used as a single-use product. For example, if you’re on a hiking weekend in the peak district, you should use a new batch of wool at the start of each day. The wool fibres absorb the moisture and friction after use, it then felts as it has done its job. We advise for the wool be removed after an activity.
As it is bio-degradable it can be discarded in the hedgerows for the birds to make a nest from or placed in a compost bin, ensuring there is no waste with this product.
Are there allergic reactions to Alpaca Wool?
The wool is so soft, making it less itchy and irritating on the skin. It is free from dander and lanolin which are known to cause more commonly known allergic reactions. As a result of these properties, the wool stays cleaner for longer when compared to sheep or lamb’s wool.
What should Alpaca wool not be used on?
Please do not use it on any open skin or a blister that has popped or had its roof torn, the Alpaca wool is not sterile and can be a risk of an introduction infection into a wound.
Please do NOT wrap the wool around one toe during an activity. The wool naturally felts and shrinks and stay fibres could tighten around the toe, restricting the blood flow. We would like to reassure you; that this is a rare occurrence and will not happen if the instructions for using the wool are followed.
Remove the Alpaca wool when you have finished an activity and do not wear to bed.