Monthly Archives: October 2016

Why Alpaca?

We’re often asked why alpaca yarn performs so much better than cashmere, merino, wool as well as other yarns so have compiled which can be found below…

Why Alpaca?

Alpaca fibre has an almost infinite list of benefits and advantages over all other yarns;


Unlike sheep and goats wool, alpaca fibre does not contain lanolin meaning that Plum of London’s knitwear range is especially good for babies, children and those with sensitive skin.

As soft yet finer than cashmere

Royal alpaca (which is used in our knitted clothing range) is the world’s finest alpaca yarn and boasts a micron count of less than 17. This results in alpaca knitwear that handles just as softly as cashmere but possesses so many more benefits.

Naturally antibacterial

Thanks to there being no lanolin present in alpaca fibre, pure alpaca clothing and garments repel dust mites and other organic matter which might trigger allergies.

Lacks the ‘prickle factor’ associated with wool

This risk is eradicated in our collection because we use only Royal alpaca in our knitted range. It has been said that those who can’t wear cashmere can wear alpaca.

Possess incredible thermal qualities

Properties which protect and insulate the alpaca at heights of up to 5500m and in temperatures varying from -28c to +27C mean that pure alpaca clothing  keeps the wearer cool in hot temperatures and warm in cool conditions. When required, alpaca fleece is 3 times warmer than merino and better insulating even than goose down.

Machine washable

Some fabric experts suggest alpaca has a lower tendency to shrink than both cashmere and wool, Due to alpaca being free of lanolin, Plum of London’s knitted garments don’t require regular cleaning but when required, are easy to clean and more importantly, machine washable!

Extremely durable

Alpaca fibre is almost indestructible: woven alpaca clothing has recently been found in almost perfect condition in Incan ruins dating back over 2,000 years. Alpaca is stronger than mohair and second in strength only to silk.

Wicks away body moisture

Therefore improving the comfort of anyone wearing alpaca clothing and ensuring that the wearer maintains a constant body temperature.

Resistant to stains

Alpaca fibre is impermeable to oils meaning spills are easy to clean up before water saturates the fibre which would otherwise allow stains to develop supporting the claim that there is no better yarn in which to clothe babies and children.

Resistant to odours

Thanks to its antibacterial and water resistant qualities, alpaca fibre successfully resists odours much more effectively than other similar fibres.

Does not retain water

Tests have shown that alpaca is virtually water repellent, allowing alpaca clothing to maintain its thermal qualities even when wet.

Not prone to ‘pill and ball’ unlike cashmere, wool and other yarns

All animal fibres contain ‘scales’ which are visible on each individual strand but the scales that are found on alpaca fibre are much shorter consequently improving the wearability and lifespan of alpaca clothing and products as they are less likely to create ‘pilling’ and ‘balling’.

Lightweight and has lustrous handling

Thanks to the ‘hollow’ qualities of alpaca fibre, Plum of London’s garments remain remarkably light when compared to other similar animal fibre (including merino, wool and cashmere) as well as synthetic clothing.

Resistant to wrinkling

Consequently, this helps alpaca garments to hold their shape and look new after even years of wear.

Fire resistant

Whilst it can catch alight, alpaca will not support a flame and so will not melt or stick to the skin unlike synthetic fibres. Alpaca does has been found to be even more flame retardant than merino wool.

Resistant to solar radiation

Which will protect your baby’s, children’s or indeed even your own skin from harmful UV rays by providing the wearer with a natural sun block.

Best British Men’s Brands

Plum of London admires many brands but those we feel are the best British men’s brands form an elite list. As Englishman, the quality of the clothes we produce is something that we should look to with great pride. The tradition, heritage and innovation that have been employed by some of the greatest British brands in the world should feed this pride and the extraordinary craft that goes into making a Savile Row suit or a pair of Northampton-made shoes deserves to be celebrated.

Gieves & Hawkes
If the brand’s position at No1 Savile Row isn’t enough, then surely their three royal warrants will prove to you the incredible longevity of Gieves & Hawkes. Gentlemen from Winston Churchill and Prince Charles to David Beckham have long been fans of the world famous brand, and the tailor prides itself on the exquisite attention to detail placed on each and every stitch, whether it’s an off the peg blazer or a bespoke suit.

Turnbull & Asser
This is admittedly one of our favourite Men’s British brands. When it comes to shirt-making, there are very few brands that live up to the expectations of the marvellous Turnbull & Asser. Expertly crafted products made in their own unique way and with quality at the heart-centre is what the brand, which was established in England in 1885, prides itself on. Many of the Turnbull & Asser craftspeople have over two decades of experience between them, and with the Royal family holding the brand close to their hearts from day one, you know you’re buying into an incredible piece of history.

Another favourite of Winston Churchill’s, the brand also has Princess Diana and Ian Fleming on its books, and continues to have pride of place both in Britain and all over the world.The fragrance you spray should be as unique as the suit you wear, and there’s no better brand for the scent of a lifetime than Floris. As the oldest independent family run perfumer in the world, you’d be right to assume that the brand knows a thing or two about scent; they have been creating rare and beautiful fragrances since 1730.

Crockett & Jones
The esteemed shoemaker of Northampton is certainly our favourite men’s show brand here Plum of London HQ. The 5th generation family-managed business has since paid the utmost attention to creating seriously high quality and beautiful footwear that’s guaranteed to take you through all walks of life.

Alfred Dunhill took over his fathers equine-goods store in 1893 and doubled its turnover within six months. And so, whether it was creating the lighters that the brand became so well-known for, or making bespoke blazers that’ll last you a lifetime, dunhill remains as ahead of the game now as it was over 100 years ago.dunhill has always been one of the most innovative British brands in the world. Iconic and always with a strong sense of its own message, dunhill has paved the way for many other Great British design houses who have drawn inspiration from their ethos.

Whether through their guns or field-wear, Purdey is a true representation of British craftsmanship in the highest form. Since the brand’s establishment in 1814, they have been leading the way for gun and rifle makers all over the world.

Holland and Holland
The brand has held its own at the forefront of great British design for over a century.Their unconventional establishment in 1835 hasn’t stopped Holland and Holland from being at the pinnacle of British gun-making. Coming from a tobacconists background, Harris Holland initially founded his brand as a passion project after developing a keen interest in competition shooting and thus his need for a bespoke gun. You can guess the rest…

Lock & Co
Top hats and fedoras are an accessory synonymous with the English gentleman and Lock & Co are the brand to go to for such an item. Heritage and tradition are at the heart of Lock & Co’s ethos, and since the brands been around since the 1600s, they play a large part in every one of their hats.

Johnstons of Elgin
No British list such as this would be complete without the inclusion of an incredible cashmere brand, which is where Johnstons of Elgin comes in. Since it was first established in 1797, the company is still run by the same two families that started it, the Johnson’s and the Harrisons.

Geo F. Trumper
Geo F. Trumper is a British barber than stands out time after time in a continuously saturated market, and one that works with tradition at the base of everything it does. It’s been on the scene since the 19th century and still remains to rival all other modern barbers in the country through its two locations on Duke of York Street and Curzon Street.

Hardy Amies
When you think Savile Row, you think Hardy Amies. Sir Edwin Hardy Amies himself was best known during his time as an official dressmaker for Queen Elizabeth II. The tailor is one of the most highly respected in the world and with clients such as the Royal Family, when you purchase anything from you brand you can be sure that you’ll be in good company.

Emma Willis
With the factory sitting in the middle of Gloucester in a beautiful 18th century townhouse, Emma Willis is about as British as it gets. The brand creates some of the most luxurious shirts, boxer shorts, pyjamas and dressing gowns in the world; clothes truly fit for a gentleman and bespoke items that will last you a lifetime.

William & Son
William & Son prides itself on its heritage, history and iconic, distinctly British design: attention to detail is one factor that will never be overlooked.