AREA founder and designer, Anki Spets, came across baby alpaca about 15 years ago. It was sourced from Peruvian artisans in villages where they used traditional shearing, dying and looming methods. As a fiber, it was almost unknown to the world of bedding.
The possibilities of the fiber, the sourcing, the sustainability, as well as the pricing in comparison to cashmere: everything about it was exciting. Anki’s discovery of alpaca was, as she describes herself, “Really satisfying, a real love fest.”
Over the years Anki had already made a few items in cashmere and sheep’s wool mixes. She thought they were nice, but not quite right. The resulting items were a little heavy and a bit fussy. Natural fibers and long-lasting beauty are cornerstones of the AREA philosophy, and it turns out baby alpaca was just right.
Baby alpaca yarn has a natural gloss that gives it a classy feel. It's also relatively thin for its strength and warmth; even better, the natural colors fitted with the aesthetics of AREA. Almond, graphite and soft grey, each complement other products, easily facilitating the endless design possibilities that are part of Anki’s distinctive approach.
As for sleep quality, an AREA obsession, the natural wicking features of baby alpaca gives relief to hot sleepers. For those who tend to sweat when rugged up in the winter, alpaca makes for being both cozy and dry. Perfect for layering, alpaca has a place on a California beach on a chilly evening just as much as on an east coast couch in the dead of winter.
AREA’s approach is always “easy to use, easy to care for” and in keeping with that the antibacterial properties of alpaca mean a good shake out will usually freshening it up. It will rarely need cleaning. Still, AREA items are made to last, so when the need arises follow Darling Magazine’s Art of Laundering or if you choose to dry clean (washing wool yourself can be risky!), go green as recommended by The Spruce.
The Peruvian alpaca industry hasn’t changed much, with the exceptions of machine operated looms and international fame. Alpaca still has a significantly low impact on the environment and is a renewable resource that biodegrades. This, coupled with the wonderful aesthetic traits of baby alpaca, moved Anki all those years ago, and still do today.