Raised in their natural habitat of the Altiplano, or high altitude regions of Southern Peru, Bolivia and Chile, the Alpaca has developed more thermal capacity in it’s fiber than almost any other animal. Alpacas have been domesticated for over 5,000 years and their popularity is only now becoming internationally recognized. This cashmere-like fleece, once reserved for the Incan royalty, is now enjoyed by spinners and weavers around the world. Alpaca can be blended with wool, silk, and mohair, and dyes easily.
Alpacas are part of the camelid family, they are similar to llamas, and are often confused with them. There are two types of alpacas, the Huacaya (pronounced Wuh-kai-ya) and the Suri. While their body types are identical, they appear distinctly different because of the unique fibers they produce. Huacaya alpacas are fluffy like teddy bears and Suri alpacas have long lustrous locks like very soft, slightly curly hair.
Alpaca fibers are among the softest of all animal fibers. Alpaca fiber is seven times warmer and three times stronger than sheep’s wool and does not feel scratchy like other animal fibers. Their fleece does not contain lanolin.
Used alone or blended with other fibers, such as cashmere, mohair, silk, wool or cotton, alpaca products are a luxurious pleasure both to the eye and to the touch.