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« Eco-Conscious Boutiques Expanding Collections of Swimwear Using of Natural & Recycled Fibers | Main | Ideas For Eco-Conscious Shoppers Looking For Winter Coats From Organic and Natural Fibers »
Saturday
Feb152014

Hot Ideas For Warming Your Hands This Winter With Gloves Made Of Organic and Natural Fibers

With one of the coldest and snowiest winters in decades, our winter gloves are going through a lot of wear, and I’ve found a lot of companies in the search for new gloves that are either made of natural or organic fibers, and are really warm and durable.

I found several boutiques – the Wild West Alpaca Ranch Store, Awaz Handcrafts, and Patricia Avenue – all specializing in handmade, natural fiber knit products.

Alpaca Driving Gloves with Leather Palms.

At all the outlets, the glove styles include those with and without fingers, as well as mittens.

The looks range from really rugged to highly elegant. Besides gloves, all of the outlets also have great natural and organic clothes and other apparel, as well as household items, but here we’re just going to look the gloves.

Wild West Alpaca Ranch Store

The Wild West Alpaca Ranch Store is a great place to find gloves and other apparel made of natural alpaca fiber, which include: hats, scarves, wraps, purses, and socks.

Alpaca Driving Gloves with Leather Palms.

The store is an outlet of the Alpaca Breeders of Arizona (ABA), which is a cooperative group of alpaca owners and breeders in state that collaborate to sell alpaca made products and promote awareness about the sustainability and health benefits of alpaca materials. All of the products are made in the United States.

There’s a lot to know about alpaca. The ABA explains some of the benefits of alpaca fibers, including that they are hypoallergenic, anti-microbial, and naturally odor resistant.

Also, alpaca doesn’t contain Lanolin oil, which many people are allergic to. Alpaca is also soft, naturally water-repellent, and non-itchy, unlike wool.

Looking at the gloves at the ranch store, one of my favorite pairs for this winter are the Alpaca Driving Gloves with Leather Palms, which provide a great waterproofing option for holding that shovel while plowing snow.

All Terrain Alpaca Gloves.

The materials for these driving gloves include an outer shell that is 100 percent pure alpaca; an inner lining that is a bouclé style acrylic knit; and the palms are covered with genuine deerskin leather.

These gloves come in three colors: brown, fawn (tan), and charcoal. They come in sizes small and large.

If you’re looking for gloves without the leather palms, then the ranch store also sells what it calls its All Terrain Alpaca Gloves, which are 90 percent alpaca and 10 percent nylon.

They are suggested as great for outdoor activities including: skiing, camping, fishing, and hunting. And, with this winter, plenty of snow shoveling.

The All Terrain gloves come in the colors of brown, fawn, white, and charcoal. They also come in four sizes: small, medium, large, and extra large. These gloves also have unique care instructions –they should be hand washed and flat dried.

Fingerless Alpaca Gloves.

Another pair of gloves worth noting is the ranch store’s Fingerless Alpaca Gloves.

They allow a lot more nibble use of your fingers, and they’re great if you need to use a touch screen outside, while still keeping your hands warm.

These gloves are made of the same construction as the All Terrain Alpaca Gloves. They are made of 90 percent alpaca and 10 percent nylon.

They also come in brown, fawn, and white. And, their size options are: small, medium, and large.

Awaz Handcrafts

Awaz Handcrafts is great place to shop if you’re looking for natural, organic, fair trade items including apparel, bedding, home décor, and jewelry made by artisan women from around the world.

The company is a locally owned and operated Portland social enterprise that provides handcrafted fair trade products made from natural fibers – hemp, Himalayan wool, Andean alpaca, wool, non-violent Eri silk, and cotton – and recycled materials.

Awaz Handcrafts says it works to “support the preservation of traditional craft work such as block printing, hand loom weaving, and kantha embroidery.”

Alpaca Wool Fingerless Arm Warmers.

The company works as an advocate and an educator for ethical economies, and is a co-chair of the Northwest Fair Trade Coalition, which serves to build a greater network of fair trade in the Pacific Northwest, and collaborates regularly with congregations and social justice organizations to educate about fair trade alternatives and reform trade policy.

While some of the biggest aspects of fair trade is making sure the artisans receive a higher wage and better working condition, also important is preserving the traditions of the artisans in their weaving and crafting that have been passed down through generations.

The products at Awaz Handcrafts are handcrafted, with the company explaining that, “All our products are made from natural fibers and eco-friendly processes sourced and crafted locally in the communities we work.”

Awaz Handcrafts has a large array of products, but focusing here on just gloves, one of my favorite styles are their Alpaca Wool Fingerless Arm Warmers. They are made of soft alpaca fibers and extend halfway up the arm.

As previously said, fingerless gloves are really great if you need nimble finger use or you need to use a touch screen. These gloves are hand-knit by women in the Andes Mountains in Bolivia.

Crème Knit Hemp Gloves.

Another one of my favorite winter glove styles from Awaz Handcrafts are the Crème Knit Hemp Gloves.

These are hand-knit gloves made with a blend of organic natural hemp fibers. They’re warm, non-itchy, durable, and come in three decorative patterns – black, white, and burgundy. There’s no size given for these gloves, but they look like they would fit most medium size women’s hands.

Another valuable note to consider about these gloves is that the company says that many of the artisans that make them are women who have previously “been victims of trafficking, domestic violence, and the political turmoil of Nepal” and the purchases help them to create economically sustainable communities.

Also as part of Awaz Handcrafts’ community support, the company has a “1% Giving Back” policy, where it says, “We donate one percent of our sales to a different community project every three months, strengthening communities locally and globally.”

Patricia Avenue

Handmade Pure Alpaca Hat and Fingerless Gloves.

Patricia Avenue is another small online family boutique that features 100 percent handmade accessories, including hats, gloves, scarves, ponchos, shawls, blankets, home décor, and toys.

One of the cutest sets from the boutique is the Handmade Pure Alpaca Hat and Fingerless Gloves in a raspberry winter color.

They are knit by hand with crocheted flowers. They can be bought as a set or separately.

The fingerless gloves are about seven inches long, and the hat has a head circumference of about 17 inches. The company also says that it welcomes custom orders in any color or size.

As for cleaning instructions for this hat and gloves set, Patricia Avenue recommends hand-washing and spot cleaning only, and only dry cleaning with a facility that has experience with natural fibers.

Artisan Pure Alpaca Full Gloves.

Patricia Avenue also has great full gloves in styles for both everyday use and elegant affairs.

A great everyday pair are the Artisan Pure Alpaca Full Gloves in Andean Black.

They are made of pure alpaca natural fiber. They look about medium size, though a size isn’t listed for them. They are best custom ordered. These gloves also have spot clean instructions.

For a more elegant look, Patricia Avenue has the Gray Charm Artisan Pure Alpaca Natural Fiber Full Gloves that feature hand-sewn embellishments.

Gray Charm Artisan Pure Alpaca Natural Fiber Gloves .

They are also made of pure alpaca natural fiber yarn. These gloves are recommended for longer fingers, but as with everything, they welcome custom orders.

Patricia Avenue also offers great information on how to clean alpaca materials.

The company recommends soaking the items in tepid water with gentle shampoo and removing any dirt particles carefully; rinsing in cool water; squeezing to remove excess water, but never twisting or wringing; and flat drying, smoothing out wrinkles, and maintaining the original shape.

 

Reader comments and input are always welcomed!

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