For years, we thought cashmere was the softest, most deluxe fabric imaginable and bought everything cashmere we could get our hands on. Then we discovered alpaca, a wool so plush and lofty that it makes cashmere seem like burlap (OK, that’s an exaggeration, but only a slight one). Spun from the shorn coats of alpacas, who are small, llama-like camelids from the Andes, it’s the cushiest, most luxurious fiber in the world. It’s also organic, hypoallergenic, sustainable and incredibly warm. As if all that weren’t enough, Suri alpaca, which is the best, most sought-after alpaca of all, has the added bonus of boasting a gorgeous luster and coming in 23 natural shades.
Top-of-the-line Suri alpacas are what knitwear designer Alicia Adams breeds and raises on her 80-acre farm in New York state’s Hudson Valley, about 90 miles north of New York City. Since moving there with her family from Germany in 2006, she’s built a herd of more than 200 alpacas, who provide all the wool for her designs. “The close interaction and contact with our herd inspires me every day,” she says. “Their sweet faces, gentle character and regal disposition are reflected in many pieces of our collection.” Because we can’t imagine anything nicer on a frigid January day than curling up under Suri alpaca, and for a deliciously old-fashioned way to warm up cold sheets, we have her cable knit alpaca hot water bottle cover, which comes in ivory and brown (rubber hot water bottle included). “It’s the most frequently used product of our line in my own family,” says Adams. “My three kids go to bed with them almost every night.”
from Hudson Valley, NY