The alpaca is as old as the Inca’s history. Alpaca is a speciality fibre, highly sought after as one of the world’s most luxurious fleeces. Once reserved for Inca royalty, alpaca wool is now enjoyed by spinners and weavers across the globe.
Hailing from South America, the alpaca belongs to the camelid family that also includes camels, llamas, guanacos and vicuñas. Alpacas are a docile breed whose fleece spins into luxurious yarns. More than three quarters of the world’s alpaca population resides in the highest mountains of Peru and Bolivia.
In centuries past, the alpaca was an incredibly valuable animal, even more so than precious gems! Clothing created with alpaca was restricted for use by royalty. Nowadays the alpaca has been domesticated and is treated as one of the national treasures in these countries.
There are two breeds of Alpaca
- The Suri has long fibres that form long strands
- The Huacaya has a more fluffy fibre with a lot of fine crimp
Each fibre is hollow which makes it incredibly lightweight. Even the most delicate alpaca garments are warm for this reason. Perhaps alpaca’s greatest feature is that it can be worn next to the skin comfortably. The fibre has air pockets which allow garments to be lightweight yet very insulating and warm.
A fine tradition inherited: Breeds, Fibre & Colour
The diversity of our products is the expression of our cultural identity rooted in the values of our ancestors in order to reveal to the rest of the world…
The two coat or breed types are huacaya and suri. Both fleeces are soft and free of guard hair. Ninety-five (95%) percent of alpacas are huacaya, with full, puffy fleeces whose crimp or crinkle is found throughout their fleeces. The lustrous straight fibre of the suri fleece hangs down in “dreadlocks”, giving the suri alpaca an entirely different appearance. Fibers of both types are considered luxury fibers in the textile trade because of their unique qualities. The fiber comes in 22 official colors and numerous tints. White, black, grey, brown, rose-grey, etc. Their fiber is oil-free, super-fine and super-strong. The fiber has air pockets which allow garments to be lightweight yet very insulating and warm.