Alpacas (lama pacos) are one of the most beautiful South American camelids. Related to the Llamas, Guanacos and Vicuñas, the Alpaca has been valued for its fibre since pre-Incan times due to the properties and quality of its hair.
There are two main species of Alpaca: the Huacayo y Suri.
The Alpaca is indigenous to the Peruvian Andes, where they have been domesticated ever since the time of pre-Incan cultures. There are estimated to be approximately 3.5 to 4 million Alpaca in South America, 95% of which can be found in the regions of Southern Peru.
Alpacas are bred at altitudes which vary between 3,500 and 4,500 metres above sea level, where temperatures can range from anywhere between -20°C and 30°C in a single day, surviving on a low protein diet based on natural grasses.
Alpaca is a soft, silky and durable fibre with unique thermal properties due to microscopic air bubbles found inside the hair. These bubbles allow the user to “breathe” through the fibres on hot days and in much the same way, to retain body heat in cold climates. It is also elastic and not inflammable.