Alpaca fiber is a natural fiber harvested from the alpaca animal. Alpacas are the genetic cousins of camels and llamas native to the Andes region in South America. Alpacas are found in two different breeds: Huacaya and Suri, both of which produce different fleece.
Huacaya represent 90% of present-day alpaca herds. Its alpaca fiber grows perpendicularly, and has a dense, soft and spongy appearance, similar to sheep wool.
Suri represent 10% of present-day alpaca herds. Their fiber grows parallel to its body, and has a silky and shiny appearance, similar to natural silk.
Both fibers can be used in milling processes to be spun into various types of yarns, which will be used to produce various types of garments. Huacaya in particular grows into a soft, spongy fiber which can be used for knitting. Suri fiber is more suited for woven goods.
Why Alpaca Fiber?
1) Alpaca fiber is extremely versatile as a material. It is strong, durable and water-resistant, and can be used to create a wide variety of goods, such as alpaca clothing, hats, bedding, rugs, baskets, mitts, scarves, gloves, jumpers and toys. Alpaca sweaters are the most common form of clothing made with alpaca fiber.
2) The absence of lanolin and other oils in alpaca fleece mean that alpaca garments are hypoallergenic and not harmful to your skin, making alpaca clothing suitable for people with allergies and sensitive skin. When you put on an alpaca sweater, you will immediately notice the absence of the scratchy "prickle" found in garments made of more coarse fibers.
3) Woven alpaca garments are extremely durable, with some garments recently discovered in Peruvian ruins dating back to over 2,500 years. Caring for alpaca clothing is easy and simple, requiring only a mild detergent to wash.
4) Alpaca wool comes in 22 natural colors which include variations of white, grey, brown and beige which can be blended to create over different 300 shades. Some of our Alpaca products use natural dyeing methods using materials derived from natural resources, such as plants, flowers, fruits, insects, animals, and minerals.
5) An Alpaca's diet consists of mostly native grass, at a rate of 1.5% of its body weight each day. Unlike other grazers, alpacas do not decimate natural vegetation, allowing farmers to host lots of alpacas on their farmland without causing significant environmental destruction.
6) Alpacas are extremely hardy, able to survive in and adapt to most climates, elevations and weather conditions.
Ready to reap the benefits of alpaca products? Shop for Alpaca ponchos, andean alpaca sweaters and more alpaca clothing at Thebestofperu.net.