Extra heavy-duty, coarse-weave Alpaca sweaters
October 19, 2018 11:37 PM   Subscribe

A company (with no web site) comes to campus every year selling these -- and just like clockwork I hear about it a day late. These are SERIOUS rugged sweaters, like woolen armor. I imagine Sherpas wearing these. Heavy, dense, warm, and (admittedly) pricey... maybe $100-300 bucks easy. But when I search online, I'm buried by "promoted" sites, hawking inferior crap. Light-weight cardigans and cheap pullovers. I've found a few that get closer, but nothing really comes near to the to the serious sweaters I've seen from this annual sale on campus.
posted by RavinDave to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I would ask your "Student Life" or similarly worded university office if they know which company it is.
posted by vegartanipla at 12:05 AM on October 20, 2018

The company has no website nor mailing address, per se. They just carry their inventory as they make a circuit around the country, one campus after another.
posted by RavinDave at 12:14 AM on October 20, 2018

Just to clarify, are you looking for replacement ideas based on your description above?
posted by lesser weasel at 2:27 AM on October 20, 2018

Yeah! I can't wait another year. I *need* a sweater like the one I described. I thought it'd be simple to find -- but Google searches keep pushing me to these generic sweater sites. Nice stuff for what it is, but not the hefty, beefy weaves that I'm looking for.
posted by RavinDave at 2:41 AM on October 20, 2018

Sounds to me like handmade Nepalese sweaters one might find in fair trade import stores. I mostly turned up wholesalers in my search but I did come across these seriously nice looking sweaters https://www.laundromatstuff.com/en-us/
posted by Lorin at 3:04 AM on October 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

I remember buying a sweater of a similar description 20+ years ago in a campus sale! I remember being told at the time they were Andean. If I’m on the right track then this sweater may be close to what you’re looking for. I searched for Andean alpaca sweaters.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 3:43 AM on October 20, 2018 [4 favorites]

These used to be really popular and you could find them everywhere. This was the 90s so they are bound for a revival! If you have a general “hippie goods” store in your town (ie, incense, shawls from India, glass pipes, etc) then you may be able to find sweaters like this there.

Otherwise, these sweaters tend to come from Ecuador, but they are also made in Nepal (where I bought several many years ago). So searching for either country plus heavy wool sweater may help.
posted by lunasol at 3:50 AM on October 20, 2018 [4 favorites]

Wow! Those two links are outstanding! And I've seen some nice stuff after adding "Napalese" to my keyword search! And I like the look of AlpacaMall, but I'm leery of the price; thinking quality work should be more than $60 bucks.
posted by RavinDave at 4:21 AM on October 20, 2018

I bought one of these in the 90s at a poetry festival, there was a theme of world culture and they were sold at a stand...and as I remember were pretty inexpensive and very warm.
posted by mermayd at 6:10 AM on October 20, 2018

Confirming AlpacaMall as legit -- I have an AlpacaMall purchased large poncho. It's a good piece, sturdy yet soft, and warm. It is pilling up a little after dozens of wears. But it's wool, so. I thought the price fair and I would buy it again, or another product from AlpacaMall, without hesitation. (I would like another poncho in different colours but haven't seen my specific need come by.)
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:16 AM on October 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

the Peruvian connection specializes in alpaca
posted by brujita at 6:19 AM on October 20, 2018 [4 favorites]

Although the articles are a few years old, might this be the event you're referring to? The second article mentions Bolivia Fair Trade, which has a website that sells a small number of sweaters.
posted by La Gata at 1:17 PM on October 20, 2018

Yes, La Gata! That's the event alright. About 30+ large tables stacked with heavy woolen goods as an annual fundraiser for UNL Crew. Looks like you (amazingly) found the jobber that supplies the vendors. This has possibilities.
posted by RavinDave at 3:23 AM on October 21, 2018

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