Alpaca Wool

Why use Alpaca wool for Blister prevention?

Alpaca is the softest wool I have ever come across, a patient of mine mentioned they had Alpacas as pets and I simply had to see them!

I’ve found them to be the most amazing animals and absolutely adorable. They belong to the Camelidae family and were domesticated by the Incas around 6,000 years ago and they have been used for their wool ever since.

Alpaca is a speciality fibre that has been described as stronger than mohair, finer than cashmere, smoother than silk, softer than cotton, warmer than goose down and better-breathing than thermal knits. It essentially combines the best of everything we have naturally available to us in one helpful package.

The wool is softer and therefore is less itchy and irritating to the skin. It is also free from dander and lanolin which are known to cause allergic reactions.  As a result of these properties the wool stays cleaner for longer when compared to sheep and lamb’s wool

It naturally wicks moisture away from the skin which is advantageous in preventing blisters and as we know, moisture next to the skin is one of the major contributors to the formation of blisters. The wool is stain resistant, water repellent and doesn’t hold any odour which is great for use around the feet, especially in between the toes.

Alpaca wool between toes

After researching Alpaca wool first hand I realised the benefits of using it in the prevention of blisters. In order to achieve this, I began searching for the softest Alpaca wool I could find, and I soon discovered that it originates from baby Alpacas. Although it is more expensive than older Alpaca shearing’s it is much softer and boasts less than a 24 micron count, the wool is less coarse with a reduced `prickle` factor which is related to its low micron count, making it more comfortable to wear in-between the toes.

When I first trained as a Podiatrist using animal wool for the prevention of pressure points on the foot was common place and it had great feedback from the patients. However, there is a small drawback when using this in that if the wool is left on the foot without removing daily, the strands of  the wool can begin to become tighter when wet. This can restrict circulation.

To ensure best results we recommend the Alpaca wool 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. This is because the wool will felt, (meaning the friction is taken up in the wool instead of your foot!) so make sure to remove it after an activity. As it is bio-degradable it can be left in the hedgerows for the birds to make a nest from or put in a compost bin.

What can the Alpaca wool be used for?

For those people who suffer with blisters in between and on the top of the toes, Alpaca wool is great at preventing those by weaving the wool around the toes in a figure of eight manner from the bigger toe to the smallest toe. If you have an existing injury or blister that has been dressed already you can still use the wool to prevent further friction and pressure. Do not use any wool on open skin as it is not sterile.

For when ballet dancers go into the “En Pointe” position, a little nest of Alpaca wool on the top of the toes 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 way from the skin making it the natural choice to help dancers do their amazing job, blister free!

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 which contains 20g which will weave in and around all the toes of both feet generously for at least 12 days and that is with replacing the wool every day

Alpacas do come in many colours but I have chosen the whiter wools for this purpose.

Our Alpaca wool is washed, picked and carded before it is ready for use and no Alpacas were harmed in the process!