The use for alpaca wool
The world market for textiles is dominated by sheep’s wool. All other fibers such as cashmere, angora, llama and alpaca are called special. Each year the world produces 6 500 tonnes of alpaca fiber, of which 4 500 tonnes are allocated to Peru. Alpaca fiber is rare, because the world population of these animals is small compared to other animals producing wool, so that supply can not keep up with demand.
Tradition and culture
Nature has endowed alpacas with remarkable fiber which absorbs moisture and allows skin to breathe on hot days in the summer and in turn in the winter, it retains heat.
For more than 3,000 years Peruvians dominated the art of using alpaca wool, and Peru and Bolivia accentuated its position on the international market and so far maintain a monopoly on its production. Just as it was 3,000 years ago, women wander in the mountains with herds of alpacas, and their hands are busy spinning.
From fleece to wool
Crude fiber passes from the spindle. Then the yarn is woven or manually processed into a textile product. Loom artisans make the world famous ponchos, wall hangings, bedspreads or knitted coats that sell in the local market, and the buyers of the products are mainly tourists.
Alpacas grown at high altitudes where temperatures are low, have evolved a number of properties in the hair cover which are not found in other animals. This luxurious fiber is appreciated by fashion designers in Europe and Asia.
According to the survey, alpaca fiber is three times more durable than sheep wool. Products made of thin fibers discovered in the Peruvian ruins before 2 500 years were in very good condition, unaffected by molds and fungi.
Alpaca fiber does not tear nor deform. So, clothing from this fiber will serve us for a long time. This yarn is also six times warmer than sheep wool surpassing down, and thanks to its unique structure, it is of superior softness to the touch, unmatched by other natural fibers.
Chów Alpak author Anna Morales Villavicencio