Alpacas are animals living at high altitudes found in Peru in South America bearing striking resemblance to Camels. There are approximately three million alpacas worldwide with approximately 80 percent of these in Peru. The industry in South America does not export the raw fibre material – it is processed in Peru into products for export. Products include clothing, yarns, and knitwear and craft products. Alpacas have big camel’s hooves which don’t sink into the soil and cause damage. As an animal species exploited for its fibre it is relatively ecologically friendly. There are two types of alpaca; the huacaya, which accounts for 80 percent of the total and the suri which makes up the remaining 20 percent.
The fibre of the suri is the longest and the most prized. The fibre is fine and silky, between 20-34 microns in diameter and 8-12 cms in length. Colors range from pure white to various shades of white, with some reddish browns and grays and black. This color range means dying is not necessary. The fibre is shorn from the alpacas. The fibre is neither allergenic nor itchy and can therefore be worn by people with sensitive skins. In South America where most alpacas are farmed, they are usually raised in their natural habitat where they eat plants they cut with their teeth without uprooting them. This allows the high altitude region where they live to continue to prosper. Alpaca fibers are also bio-degradable and are in good demand during the cold seasons. However Alpaca industry is mainly concentrated across the South American regions only.
Post time: 11-15-2017