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Importance of the "raw material"

Noble fibres

Choice of the yarn is what defines a high quality product.
Yarn can be carded, less than 8 cm long and combed, or can be up to 20 cm long and therefore more precious; smoother and softer to the touch.
Cashmere, silk, mohair, alpaca and camel yarns are the so-called noble yarns.
They are extremely precious, sophisticated and soft to the touch.
Here is some information that you may find interesting.
An initial differentiation is made among natural yarns, of animal origin, from plants or synthetic.
Alfredo Pria uses natural yarns, and in some cases plant fibres.

Wool

Wool is a fibrous protein obtained from the fleece that covers sheep’s belly, it provides excellent isolation from heat and cold, so that the body temperature remains constant.
The best wools, of the finer qualities, reach up to 15 microns. Some qualities of wool are so fine that they can compete with cashmere.
Wool absorbs water, can be dyed easily, has a good resistance to acids and solvents and is sensitive to the action of alkalis, it is rarely attacked by moulds and bacteria, however it can be attacked by moths.
There are many types of wool, whose fibres differ in fineness and length. The best quality is merino wool.
Merino wool is obtained from merino sheep that are reared in Spain. It is considered qualitatively the best because it is a very soft, fluffy and fine fibre.
Shetland, or English wool is a high quality soft wool produced in Great Britain.
Mohair wool is obtained from the fleece of Angora goats, which originated from Turkey. Mohair a very long, soft, shiny fibre with a good resistance to abrasion and matting.
Alpaca wool comes from a type of lama reared in the Andes. It is very shiny and rare.
Camel wool comes from camels and dromedaries, without having to shear them. It is sufficient to comb the animal in spring, when it spontaneously sheds its fur. It is a soft, shiny, high quality fibre. Unlike other types of wool it is water-repellent, which makes it particularly suited for high quality water resistant coats.
Angora wool, instead, comes from the long and soft fur of Angora rabbits. It is very fine and precious and is usually combined with other high quality wools for knitwear.

Cashmere

The name derives from the historic region of Kashmir, currently divided between India, Pakistan and China, from which goods were exported to Europe from the start of the 19th century.
The part that is thinner and finer is the fur under the goat’s coat which is called duvet, i.e. the soft and woolly layer underneath. The thicker part with rigid and coarse hairs comes from the outer coat and is known as guard hair. In order to collect this wool, the coat is combed manually during the moulting season, which is in spring. The production amounts to about 100 to 200 grams of fine hair with a diameter of 14-12 microns.
Cashmere comes from the fleece of the Tibetan goat, which originated from Kashmir, and is finer than merino wool.

Vicuna

Vicuna wool, is named after a small camelid that lives in the wild in Peru. Vicuna yarn was used in the past to weave clothes for the royal family. It is extremely fine, very shiny and precious.
Vicuna fibres are less than 12 microns and are finer than cashmere fibres.
In the past, vicuna were an endangered species, today the vicuna, whose population amounts to about 180,000 specimens, are still considered a protected species, they are herded in enormous farms and the animals are captured every two years, sheared, and then set free again.
The rarity of this species, combined with its extremely fine fibre, make vicuna wool even more precious than cashmere.

Viscose

Viscose was invented in 1883, at first it was called artificial silk and then rayon, and it was created to respond to a demand for textiles similar to silk which were more economical.
Viscose is a plant fibre, obtained from wood pulp, treated with a solution of caustic soda combined with carbon disulphide.
Viscose has a particular shine which is similar to that of silk, and for this reason it is also called “artificial silk”.

Modal

The production of modal started in the Sixties, from wood pulp. Substantially it is a variety of rayon, a fibre regenerated from cellulose.
The touch and characteristics of modal are very similar to cotton.
It has a strong mechanical resistance, does not generate pilling and has an excellent colour stability, the colours do not fade in time.
Therefore modal textiles do not wear out and compared to cotton, they rarely shrink or fade. Modal textiles are smooth, soft and when washed in hard water, they do not hold back minerals like limescale on the treated surface. Modal textiles can be ironed after washing, like pure cotton.

Hemp

The hemp fibre is obtained from the phloem of the Cannabis sativa plant.
Before the advent of cannabis prohibition, it was widespread all over the world as a raw material for the production of paper, it was widely utilized also for the production of textiles and ropes. Today, selected varieties of cannabis, that are free from psychoactive ingredients, can be grown legally for the production of textiles.
Hemp has been reconsidered because its characteristics are particularly appreciated from an ecological point of view. It can be grown repeatedly on the same soil because it does not impoverish it. Hemp has natural antibacterial characteristics due to its leaves, and therefore does not need any fungicides to protect the crops. It rapidly absorbs and releases water, reducing permeation.
By using hemp, hundreds of millions of trees could be saved every year, all types of textiles could be produced, and also fuels, plastic materials and non polluting paints could be made.

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