Alpaca Fleece History, why is it so desirable?

Alpaca Fleece History

In order to look at it’s alpaca fleece‘s history we need to also look at history of the animal itself. There are two types of alpacas, the huacaya and the suri or silky alpaca.  There is a difference between the two, the main difference being the way the hair grows. The huacaya is also know as the woolly alpaca while the suri is the silky. That woolly’s hair grows at a ninety-degree angle which makes them have a teddy bear like fur. The silky alpacas hair grows at a forty-five degree angle, which makes it silkier.

The alpacas were used to make fleece by the Inca Empire.  During this time they were used to make a multitude of products including cloaks and robes as well as garment and hides. They described the fleece as Fiber of the Gods” because it was highly durable and warm.

What about Alpaca’s currently?

The major of the Alpaca population is in Peru.  Other populations of Alpaca’s are in Australia, new Zealand, Canada and the U.S. as well as South America.

What to Look for with Alpaca Fleece?

When you are looking for he perfect fleece you have to find the perfect alpaca. You have to look at the animal and ensure that no areas stand out Everything should be uniform when it comes to their fur. When you find one that is uniform you actually have to touch them, stick you hands in there and feel. With the woolly version you’ll want to spread the fleece and look at the lock structure.  There you have to look at its density and curvature etc. Plus, the fleece should feel smooth in your hands. Suri fibers are obviously going to be smoother than woolly. On a sunny day you can truly evaluate the luster and the shine that a suri is known for.

What Makes Alpaca Fleece so Great?

Alpaca fleece is one of those materials that’s meant to keep you warm even on the coldest days. A study showed that even if it was 0 degrees Fahrenheit outside you would feel like it was 50 degrees under alpaca clothes. It’s also extremely strong, which is why there are certain pieces of clothing found in museums, because they were durable and held up to the test of time.  Another benefits according to the wild hair press is that it is hypoallergenic. There are many people that have allergies to certain fibers, including that of wool, which is super warm. But alpaca fibre does not contain lanolin or lanolin residue which helps to bring down he allergens a bit. Plus it resists odors better than anything else so you don’t have to worry about being smelly. It’s also water resistant so even if it snows you’ll still maintain being dry underneath.

All in all alpaca fibers are eco friendly and carry a small footprint so they can be kept on smaller acreage which is ideal if you don’t have a huge amount of land.

Click here to SHOP our Alpaca range of Blankets and other items.

References

Basics about Alpaca fleece.  Found at http://www.easygofarm.net/FleeceBasics.html

 

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