About Alpacas

 

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Alpacas are indigenous to the South American Countries of Peru, Chile and Bolivia and have been farmed for their highly prized fleece for centuries by the ancient Inca people and their ancestors in the high antiplano region of the Andes.

 

Alpaca (Latin name Vicugna Pacos) is a close relative of the Vicuna, Guanaco and Llama, all of which are found in South America. Alpacas can live for up to 25 years. An adult alpaca can weigh up to 100kg and stand approximately 39 inches to the wither. By comparison an adult Llama will be almost twice the size of an Alpaca and whereas Alpacas are bred primarily for their fleece, the larger Llama will also be used as a pack animal. 

 

Alpacas are a very hardy animals and highly intelligent. They are very inquisitive and a pleasure to experience. The Alpacas qualities of their fleece mean that Alpacas are now bred in several countries around the world. Some of the largest herds outside of South America can be found in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, US and United Kingdom. As of 2005 it is estimated that there are approximately 11,000 Alpacas currently in the UK.

 

Alpaca Fibre

The fibre produced from Alpaca fleece is much finer than that of Sheep's wool, but extremely durable and second only in strength to silk.Alpaca fibre is exceptionally warm with a lustrous, soft feel (called the handle). The number of scales on individual Alpaca wool fibres is considerably lower than that of sheep’s wool, which perhaps explains why people who are allergic to sheep's wool, do not have the same reaction to Alpaca fibre.

Alpaca fleece comes in 22 natural shades from White to jet Black.