Talk to me about wool/alpaca/cashmere....

FrizzleNovember 6, 2008

I'm allergic to mohair, angora, and cashmere - break out into a rash and sneezing fits galore.

I can wear wool without issue.

Is alpaca more similar to wool or the cashmere/mohair? Will I be subjecting myself to benedryl to get through a skein of alpaca?


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Cashmere and mohair/angora are fibers from goats (although some mohair is from rabbits.) Wool is from sheep and alpaca is obviously from the alpaca, which is related to camels. I suspect it's only the goat fibers that you are allergic to, so my guess is that you'd be just fine with alpaca.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 11:21PM
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I don't think you will have a problem with alpaca. Look for alpaca that doesn't have lots of fine "fuzzy hairs" coming from the yarn strand. I have a few skeins like that. I also have some alpaca that is fuzzless. Most people who can not wear wool can wear alpaca. Buy one small skein and try it. Ask if the shop has multiples of the dye lot and explain why you only want to try one skein first. That way, if you don't have a problem with it, you can buy as much as you need in addition to the first skein to make your garment.


    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 11:13AM
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Thanks for the help! I found a skein at michaels and was thinking of trying it, but didn't know about the allergy issues, and didn't want to find up sneezing and gagging just to find out!

Off to try my first knitting stitches.....

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 9:49AM
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I've been working with alpaca a lot lately after staying at an alpaca ranch and reading all about the animals. I've heard that people who are allergic to wool can generally tolerate alpaca just fine. So I would think it would be fine for you. I just knit up a gorgeous natural alpaca scarf with yarn that came from the alpaca farm I was staying at. What a great souvenir! Have fun!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 10:59AM
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Mohair is from angora goats, angora is from angora rabbits.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 11:33AM
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Frizzle, you might try crocheting a chain long enough to fit your wrist. Try wearing it for 24-48 hours and see if you have a reaction to it. I learned this suggestion from a knitting instructor last weekend at a techinques class. We had one girl who is truly allregic to wool. That is how they knew if she could use the same yarn the rest of us are using, or if she would need to select something else.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 8:38PM
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You don't even need to crochet a chain, just tie a piece of the yarn around your wrist. That was suggested to me by a yarn store owner when I was looking for sock yarns that my mother-in-law could tolerate.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 12:30PM
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