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Naming our Throws & Blankets: Part 2 – Islesboro Cotton & Alpaca Throw

Posted on October 15 2020

Naming our Throws & Blankets: Part 2 – Islesboro Cotton & Alpaca Throw

Islesboro, Maine has a long, fascinating history that goes back to the 17th century. In August 1692, English Captain Benjamin Church arrived in Penobscot Bay with a company of men and landed on what came to be known as 700 Acre Island, a small island near present-day Islesboro.

Aerial View of Isleboro coast

 Islesboro Aerial View

Islesboro is long and narrow, approximately fourteen miles long and varying between three miles at its widest point and a few yards at the Narrows, depending on the tide.

Map of Islesboro Island

 Map of Islesboro Island

The first people to arrive on the island were the Penobscot and Tarratine natives, who camped here in the summer to hunt and fish. Huge shell middens have been found along the shores where natives camped for hundreds of years.

Everyday life on Islesboro is like that of most other small communities, except that it is defined by physical boundaries. These boundaries sometimes present challenges that most islanders feel are a small price to pay for the beauty, tranquility and kinship the island has to offer. People have been living on Islesboro for over two hundred years, supporting themselves and their families in a variety of ways. The local economy has shifted from agrarian to primarily service industry.

Islesboro is a unique place, wild yet civilized, independent yet close knit, two distinct socio-economic groups co-dependant on each other and living in harmony.

The throw we named after this unique island displays our iconic herringbone pattern and the detailed hand-crafted fringing that so many love, but sets itself apart with the Cotton Alpaca fabric blend.

Islesboro Alpaca & Cotton Throw

Islesboro Alpaca & Cotton Throw

A little bit about Alpaca wool

 

Alpaca Wool

Alpaca Wool

In a world growing weary of synthetic materials and enthusiastically turning toward eco-friendly choices, alpaca fiber offers an opportunity for consumers to wear soft, warm, durable, natural garments. It’s hard to believe that wearing an item that feels so luxurious to the touch is also a fantastic choice for the earth-conscious consumer.

  • Is alpaca fleece warmer than sheep’s wool?


Yes, alpaca tends to be warmer than sheep’s wool. Alpaca fibers are completely hollow, whereas sheep’s wool only contains pockets of air. Much like polar bear fur, both fibers allow air to permeate the surface and become trapped inside for a warm wearing experience. Alpacas have an advantage over wool though because of the extra hollow space in the fiber. This additional space creates a greater thermal capacity and allows for more warm air to fill the textile and provide extra warmth over its sheep’s wool counterpart.

  • Is alpaca hypoallergenic?


Yes, alpaca is considered hypoallergenic because it lacks lanolin. Lanolin is traditionally found in sheep’s wool and irritates many wearers upon contact.

  • Is alpaca 100% waterproof?


No. Though alpaca does offer fantastic wicking properties, it is not 100% waterproof.

Alpaca fibers are hollow so it traps more heat and naturally pushes the water away, never allowing wet fabric to sit on the skin. The water essentially evaporates as a result of the structure and warmth of the alpaca fiber. So, while alpaca is not waterproof, it is considered water-repellent.

In comparison, wool will absorb up to 50% of its body weight in moisture, but there is a saturation point for this textile. Unfortunately, saturated wool can cause sweat to sit next to the skin. This can cause discomfort, odor and an increased likelihood of blisters. Ouch!