Alpacas Come in Two Varieties July 03 2014

It's a fact that 90% of the fabrics and products made from alpaca fleece are from the more common Huacaya variety. Basically, a short fleeced alpaca, the Huacaya produces wavy, highly crimped fleece that closely resembles wool. The Huacaya represents 90% of the world's alpaca population while the less common Suri alpaca makes up the balance. Its fleece is long, straight, silky, extremely lustrous and ideal for making long-pile fabrics.

       

The Huacaya and Suri alpacas produce fiber that is as soft as cashmere while being warmer, lighter and stronger than wool. Alpaca fiber comes in more colors than any other fiber producing animal, 22 colors are recognized by the textile industry, and there are many blends in addition to that. Alpacas are shorn for their wonderful fleece each year. Each annual shearing produces an average yield of 5 pounds of fleece. The fleece, and fiber that is spun from it, is then turned into the most luxurious garments, blankets and other home decor items in the world. This cashmere-like fleece, once reserved for Incan royalty, is now enjoyed by spinners and weavers around the world.

Alpacas trace their origin back to South America where they are primarily found in Peru, Bolivia and Chile. However due to their incredible environmental adaptability alpaca breeding ranches are found thriving around the world. In their homeland, one can find them roaming at elevations of up to 15,000 feet. Temperature variations of up to 30 degrees in a day are simply no problem for them. They feed on pasture grass and their "padded" hooves are very gentle on their surroundings.

Our thanks goes out to the Alpaca Farm Gruettner in Germany and Island Alpaca in the USA for the use of much of the information and photos we are sharing with you here. We also had the opportunity to visit Island Alpaca to witness the personalities and gentleness of these wonderful animals.

We, at Lufina Wovens, are proud to have many blankets, throws and pillows for sale on our site that are made from the beautiful and luxurious fibers these creatures produce. Visit our site at: lufinawovens.com to see the great items being offered there.