• Resistance to Compression Behavior of Alpaca and Wool

    This study compares the resistance to compression behavior of wool and alpaca fibers. It shows that alpaca fibers have a much lower resistance to compression than wool, and there is little correlation between the resistance to compression and the curvature for alpaca fibers. Yet for wool fibers, the correlation between resistance to compression and curvature is very strong and positive. The differences in fiber curvature and scale profiles of alpaca and wool, together with the test method for resistance to compression, may explain their different resistances to compression. more »
  • Variation in the Softness and Fibre Curvature of Cashmere, Alpaca, Mohair and Other Rare Animal Fibres

    Softness of apparel textiles is a major attribute sought by consumers. There is surprisingly little objective information on the softness properties of rare animal fibres, particularly cashmere, alpaca and mohair. Samples of these and other rare animal fibres from different origins of production and processors were objectively measured for fibre diameter, fibre curvature (FC, crimp) and resistance to compression (softness). While there were curvilinear responses of resistance to compression to FC and to mean fibre diameter, FC accounted for much more of the variance in resistance to compression. Fibre type was an important determinant of resistance to compression. The softest fibres were alpaca, mohair and cashgora and all of the fibres measured were softer than most Merino wool. Quivet, llama, camel, guanaco, vicuña, yak wool, bison wool, dehaired cow down and Angora rabbit were also differentiated from alpaca, mohair and cashmere. There were important differences in the softness and FC of cashmere from different origins with cashmere from newer origins of production (Australia, New Zealand and USA) having lower resistance to compression than cashmere from traditional sources of China and Iran. Cashmere from different origins was differentiated on the basis of resistance to compression, FC and fibre diameter. Cashgora was differentiated from cashmere by having a lower FC and lower resistance to compression. There were minority effects of colour and fibre diameter variation on resistance to compression of cashmere. The implications of these findings for the identification and use of softer raw materials are discussed. more »
  • Is Crimp Important?

    Much has been written about crimp and the relationship with curvature, frequency and microns, as well as curvature and compression. Many of the comments you hear are fact and fiction. We have heard the crinkle theory, the popcorn theory and various statements like “crinkle provides bulk which is created by the air pockets” (processors have concerns re the lack of bulk in Huacaya fibre – products too heavy) and of course that “crimp frequency is a reliable indicator of fineness”. I will demonstrate quite clearly that well-defined crimp is more consistent in its relationships with crimp frequency, curvature and micron. more »