The history of Kelly & Windsor's Alpaca Gold quilts
November 06, 20152 min read
The Alpaca Gold Quilt Collection
Kelly & Windsor Australia launched the Alpaca Gold quilt collection in 2005. Since then and by a long way, Alpaca Gold has been our most popular quilt, especially in the Asian international markets.
The history of the Alpaca Gold quilts goes back to early 2004 when Kelly & Windsor's main quilt range was the Alpaca Classic premium collection, a premium quilt range filled with a blend of alpaca/wool fibre.
In those early days a blended fill was used because it was believed that the manufacture of a 100% pure Alpaca quilt was impossible due to the unique characteristics of Alpaca fleece. This was because alpaca fleece was too difficult to manage with regards to its length, smooth surface in the combing and cross laying process. Also Alpaca fleece is requires very fine layers are required for the manufacture of high quality quilt filling.
In late 2005, Kelly & Windsor with its experienced staff and a lot of determination, successfully completed several months of trials and testing and found that by a number of changes in fleece preparation, equipment settings, processing speeds and several other secret innovative tricks, that we could indeed process 100% pure Alpaca with a high degree of quality and consistency.
With our knowledge and manufacturing skills we confirmed that we could manufacture a new collection of luxury quilts. A world first!
This success was however not without some issues - pure Alpaca quilts are difficult to make with a much slower manufacturing process. The process is far more expensive than a wool quilt to make. Extra processing steps are required combined with expensive specially designed fabrics to enhance the softness of the Alpaca fleece. Then add the simple fact that high quality Alpaca fleece filling is considerably more expensive than wool.
Prototypes of the Alpaca Gold quilts were first shown at the Heimtextil Fair in Germany in January 2005 with the brand launched in the Australian market shortly after, just in time to catch the Chinese New Year market sales season.
The range included 300 and 500 grams per square metre versions and was an immediate sell out success. We weren't able to keep up with supply for the first six months!
Since its launch, the Alpaca Gold quilt collections have been expanded and upgraded with the UltraSoft quilt design, higher quality superfine sateen fabrics, new decorative coloured trims and new packaging styles.
Fast forward, 20 years later, Alpaca Gold is still our best selling quilt.