Alpaca fibre: now the first choice for filtering smoke!

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Alpaca fibre has a great future! We all know that, but the sheer variety of uses for alpaca apart from the beautiful garments it makes, never ceases to amaze. Here is yet another use for this endlessly variable natural fibre:
From the winter edition of “New Zealand Alpaca” I recently reread an article by Jenny Durno about an amazing new use of alpaca fibre. Jenny’s article discusses a fire fighter mask with an alpaca filter, invented and developed by Australian Mike Taylor.
Mike didn’t set our to find a use for alpaca, rather he was looking for a solution to keep smoke out of your lungs when fighting fires, withour having the product melt all over your face, or leak smoke around the edges.
By chance, while Mike was researching natural materials he wandered into an alpaca show, and purchased felted alpaca to test along with other materials he was working with. The alpaca performed so well he went looking for a source, and together with an enterprising alpaca owner came up with the ideal solution for his face mask.
When CSIRO ran the alpaca filter through their tests, the results were so impressive, the respirator was the first and only respirator to pass two International Standards for fire resistance.
Not only, but also: the face masks have also been used for protection against word turning dust and allergens!
Says Mike: “I now have  a completely new electrostatic material which uses alpaca. I have called it “Pacastat”. By itself it removes 99.9% of 5 micron particles and over 85% of 0.3 micron. Fantastic texture too.”commercial
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