Talk:Alpaca fiber

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Per the tag, unless people can source the claims about alpaca wool being supposedly "warmer" and such than sheep wool, I'm going to be removing them. VanTucky 08:34, 30 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Actually I think I can get a source for that in some knitting books. DurovaCharge! 08:42, 30 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Great! But it shouldn't be the first sentence anyway, it doesn't really state the obvious well enough. I'll try and tweak it. VanTucky 20:21, 30 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
VanTucky, with all due respect, it seems very obvious that you have never put an alpaca sweater on! Just try it, and then attempt to justify (in this case at least) the fixation toward "sourcing", and "citation needed" tagging that plagues so many articles! Regards, --AVM (talk) 17:52, 21 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The ultimate test for inclusion of material on Wikipedia is not personal experience, it is verifiability through reliable sources. Whether I've worn an alpaca sweater or not is completely irrelevant. Source material is the only influence of any significance in articles; this is a reference work, not a promotional guide to alpaca products. VanTucky 21:48, 21 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Let's make this clear: this is not a discussion on Alpaca products, and as a promotional guide it would be very lacking. This discussion is about the above-referred infamous "sourcing" and "citation needed" tagging mania. Well, to begin with, I do not think there is any other source more reliable than my own senses and observations; I've always regarded that mania as absurd, for it inferes that only obervations and affirmations made and written by others are valid and worthy of credibility, and that my obervations and affirmations are not. About the verifiability criterion, what better way to verify an affirmation than to test it yourself, something that anyone can do?. I don't need to read someone else's testimony about alpaca wool being 'warm' or 'warmer', I just need to put my alpaca sweater on, and then compare (I'm sorry that you have not had the experience, that much is pretty obvious). Just the same, I don't need to read a confirmation in some 'source material' or 'reliable source' that "if human skin is exposed long enough to a live flame, it will suffer severe burns": isn't such common verifiable experience enough? --AVM (talk) 19:39, 26 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The arguments you're making are both off-topic to the subject at hand (whether or not the article is neutral) and is simply not in line with our standing, venerated policy on what verification means for articles. There is no arguing around the fact that, "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. "Verifiable" in this context means that readers should be able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source." You're not going to single-handedly change the entire project's core stance on factual accuracy through arguing on the talk page for Alpaca fiber. If you disagree with our core policy, take it up on a more appropriate talk space than this one. In the meantime, we need to get this article in line with standing policy. VanTucky 22:08, 26 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've added a cite for alpaca fiber warmth. DurovaCharge! 22:48, 26 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sidestepping this issue- I'm new to putting in references (of which I found one that said, multiple times, that alpaca was warmer, soft, and had a few more positive adjectives that I've added), and if I've referenced things poorly, or too often, or something, feel free to tell me/fix it. Loggie (talk) 20:42, 26 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is there any remaining reason for the NPOV tag? DurovaCharge! 22:49, 26 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it is safe to remove it- we've referenced the warmth now. Loggie (talk) 22:04, 29 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comparisons are odious[edit]

Never mind the fact that it is warmer than sheep's wool (it is a hollow fibre, thus being a fantastic insulator)- i object to the openeing sentence reading 'Alpaca fleece is fiber, similar to sheep’s wool in some respects'. The only way in which it is similar to sheep's wool is that it's a natural fibre that grows on the back of an animal. There is no reason to devalue alpaca fibre by starting the article by relating it to a sheep. It should begin: 'Alpaca is a light-weight, lustrous and silky natural fibre... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:58, 5 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Emphatically agree. An opening description should stand alone, without resorting to mention an unrelated species, in this case vastly inferior in quality. Please keep in mind that a garment manufactured from alpaca wool is a glorious luxury, always a pleasure to wear and touch. --AVM (talk) 17:52, 21 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Does anyone have a source for it being hollow as well? And any of the information under the history? Whoever wrote that section originally didn't use the best grammar, which makes me wonder about some of it. Loggie (talk) 11:27, 9 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ALPACAS RULE!!!!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:14, 9 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Breeders often claim that alpaca fibre has “a hollow, insulating core that gives alpaca fiber a cloud -weight softness”etc. This is misleading.

In fact they are referring to a type of fibre "Medullated fibres" that can be objectionable. As Davison/Holt 2004 explain, Medullated fibres are fibres with a central core, which may be continuous, interrupted, or fragmented. The cortical cells that make up the walls of the fibre are wrapped around a medulla, or core, that is made up of another type of cell (medullary cells). Later, these cells may contract or disappear, and hence "the proud reference to 'hollow fibres' that was so often heard in the early days of the industry, which in fact was a reference to medullated fibres".

The higher incidence of medullated fibres in alpaca, compared to wool and mohair, can be an unwelcome trait. They can take less dye, standing out in the finished garment, and are weaker. The proportion of medullated fibres is higher in the coarser, unwanted guard hairs. There is less or no medullation in the finer, lower micron fibres.

see also Fiber Characteristics of U.S. Huacaya Alpacas by Angus McColl, Yocom-McColl Testing Laboratories, Inc., Chris Lupton, Texas A&M University System, and Bob Stobart, University of Wyoming

Davison/Holt Hosaymerino (talk) 18:20, 22 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Origins of Alpacas[edit]

The section on alpaca history has this curious sentence: "Vicuñas were first domesticated and bred into alpacas by the ancient Andean tribes of Peru, but also appeared in Chile and Bolivia." This suggests (incorrectly) that the Andean tribes of Peru were different from those of Chile and Bolivia. In fact, the borders are modern inventions that have nothing to do with where the ancient people lived. It also suggests that alpacas arose in three different places, which is rather silly. I propose changing the sentence to "Vicuñas were first domesticated and bred into alpacas by the ancient Andean tribes of Peru, Chile and Bolivia," or maybe "Vicuñas were first domesticated and bred into alpacas by the ancient tribes of the Andean highlands of Peru, Chile and Bolivia." —MiguelMunoz (talk) 18:46, 2 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Itchiness of the fiber[edit]

My family comes from Bolivia, so I've been wearing alpaca sweaters for fifty years. When I was a child, I remember alpaca sweaters for being incredibly warm (much more so than sheep's wool), but very itchy. They would often itch right through an undershirt. But today's alpaca isn't itchy at all, and alpaca fiber is always described as "not itchy" in the literature. Does anybody know the history of how the itch was removed from the fiber? Does anyone have a reference? (I was disturbed to read that high-quality sheep's wool is often called "alpaca," so I wonder if some of the soft "alpaca" sweaters I've marveled at in stores were actually sheep's wool.) —MiguelMunoz (talk) 19:07, 2 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it might just be cleaned more removing all the dirt.Sign My Guestbook! User:Sumsum2010 02:23, 7 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lead Section[edit]

I've labled the lead section as to long because it is more than half the length of the whole article. Sign My Guestbook! User:Sumsum2010 02:23, 7 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hypoallergenic Claim[edit]

The claim of Alpaca fiber/wool being hypoallergenic is suspect. While it's often repeated on marketing pages for Alpaca-based products, it seems dubious for a number of reasons. Based on this source, which is a paper from the book "A Definitive Guide To Alpaca Fiber", the Alpaca absolutely produces lanolin, though less of it than other wool producers like sheep.

Further, I can't seem to find any source that backs up the idea of lanolin as an allergen. Studies like the ones here and here seem to indicate that percieved wool allergies can generally be traced to scratchiness due to the increased size of the wool fiber, combined with the warmth trapped by wool against skin. Warm, sweaty, prickly skin is an allergic-reaction-esque symptom, but without the "allergic reaction" immune system response.

HoustonRH7 (talk) 23:01, 11 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Probably needs cleanup[edit]

I've just barely scratched the surface of this article myself, but it looks like there's a few things that need cleanup. My primary concerns are with providing a more global perspective and general encyclopedic tone. Some reorganizing of the sections may also be warranted (do we need two different history sections?) I don't currently have the time or confidence to address all of these on my own, so I'd appreciate if someone might be able to take a look. (P.S. I'm still figuring out the watchlist, please ping if you want my attention.) Duckduckgoop (talk) 10:10, 20 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]