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From Alpaca Shearing to Sustainable Bedding

by Amanda

We’ve had a very exciting few weeks here at South House Alpacas as every year we dedicate a number of days to shearing our herd of Alpacas, and this year’s Alpacas Shearing Days were 3 weeks ago starting on the 21st of June. Running up to the big day it was touch and go, the weather forecast wasn’t looking too great and for the Alpaca shearing to go ahead we needed it to be dry. With the weather predicting light showers, we hoped for the best and continued to plan as if the shearing was still going ahead and when Monday rolled around, we were in luck, there was not a drop of rain in sight! 

Alpacas have very thick wool and are traditionally sheared once a year, primarily for their fleece. If they are not sheared annually, Alpaca wool will continue to grow causing distress to the animal. And, by shearing them in early summer, it ensures they stay cool throughout the warmer weather whilst giving the wool a chance to grow back in time for the winter, allowing the Alpacas to stay warm throughout the colder seasons.

Why Alpaca Fibre? 

At South House we keep and produce all of our Alpaca wool to make 100% natural and high-quality duvets and pillows that can be used all year round. One of the many benefits of Alpaca fibre is it’s thermoregulating properties so all of our duvets are perfect for those cold winter nights and hot summer evenings. Alpaca fibre is one of the most sought-after fibres, being naturally hypo-allergenic due to its lack of lanolin, it is super soft to touch and is also eco-friendly. The fibre is strong and durable meaning that it will withstand the test of time, unlike other fibres such as wool and silk, making Alpaca fibre a highly sustainable and desirable choice.

Sustainable Consumerism 

More so in recent years and also one of the lasting effects of the pandemic, consumer buying habits have changed dramatically as we look to buy more sustainable items. Whether it’s food, clothing, bedding or any other household item, consumers are more conscious of the effect that the production of these everyday items have on the environment. Particularly as consumers, we have become more aware of the damaging effects that fast fashion items are having on the planet. And fast fashion doesn’t necessarily apply to just clothing items, it can apply to all textiles including bedding and with over 336,000 tonnes of all kinds of textiles thrown away in the UK each year, it has become a danger in itself. 

When it comes to bedding alone, 14 million duvets and pillows are thrown away every year and with the majority of those produced with unrecyclable materials, they often go straight to landfill. That’s why at South House we have made it our mission ‘to provide 100% natural, organic and sustainable bedding that will last a lifetime whilst reducing waste and improving our planet one duvet and pillow at a time. Not only this, but we also believe that all bedding should be cruelty free and kind to both animals and the planet.’ We are able to do this by using eco-friendly materials and a completely environmentally friendly production process.

How is Alpaca Wool Processed? 

So how is Alpaca wool processed? Well firstly, we start with shearing the Alpaca. Once the Alpaca wool has been sheared, it is often sorted and graded to determine what the fleece will be used for. The average adult Alpaca will typically produce between 5-10 pounds of fibre, 40% of which is usually considered high quality fibre. However, all of the fibre sheared will be converted into the desired material, at South House, we use the fibre for luxury organic pillows and duvets Once the shearing process is complete, the fibre will be gathered and pack to be sent to the mill to be scoured and then washed removing any impurities from the wool using natural detergents. No chemicals are used during this stage of the process. Any chemicals that are used can damage the quality of the fibre and also have a negative impact on the environment, so they are typically avoided throughout the whole process. Alpaca fibre, unlike sheep wool is dry and therefore doesn’t require an extremely thorough clean and therefore the cleaning process is quite simple.

Once the fibre has been scoured and cleaned, it’s ready to be made into 100% natural, environmentally friendly bedding. We chose both natural cotton and a completely chemical free organic cotton for the outer covers of our bedding. Each piece is handmade by Alpaca duvet and bedding experts and filled expertly to give you the peaceful, comfortable night’s sleep we all look forward to. 

Shop Sustainable Bedding 

So, there you have it, at South House we use a completely eco-friendly production process that not only enables us to produce our luxurious and 100% natural Alpaca fleece duvets and pillows, but it also means that they are great for the environment and fully sustainable.  We are proud to be able to offer such high quality, environmentally bedding that doesn’t cost the earth. You can shop our collection of bedding here: Shop Sustainable Alpaca Bedding