The alpaca biography

As one of the rarest, most beautiful and valuable fibers in the world, alpaca is known for its incomparable softness and special thermal properties. It is also increasingly seen as a more sustainable alternative to the oversaturated cashmere market. Learn everything you need to know here about these wonderful animals, their origin and their unique fur in this biography

Hochland der Anden

The origin.

The history of alpacas in Peru goes back on a long, 6000 year old tradition. Already the royal families of the Incas domesticated the peaceful animals and revered them for their unique fur and the special characteristics of the alpaca fiber.

Even today alpacas are the sanctuary of Peru. With their wool they secure the livelihood of many Peruvian farmers. Of about 4 million animals worldwide, about 90% live in the Peruvian Andes. Alpacas are usually kept in small herds of 80 to 100 animals, at altitudes of up to 5000 meters.

braunes Alpaka in den Anden

The characteristics.

Alpacas are sociable herd animals. Their life expectancy ranges between 15 and 20 years, their height is about one meter and they can reach a weight of up to 60 kg.

There are two types of alpacas, the huacaya and the suri, which differ only in their fur structure. While the huacaya’s fur is short, slightly curly and particularly densely arranged, the suri’s fur is characterized by long, curly and silky hair, whose unique reflection of light gives it a unique, natural shine.

Alpaka Fell Faser

The fiber.

Due to their natural habitat, alpacas are often exposed to extreme environmental conditions and high temperature fluctuations.

The sustainable fur of alpacas is optimally adapted to these circumstances: their hair is particularly fine and closely arranged to provide sufficient protection against cold and extreme weather. At the same time, the fiber is hollow on the inside and acts as a thermal insulator due to its special thermal properties – a unique fiber property that protects against temperature differences of up to 25 degrees in a single day.

These properties make the alpaca fiber one of the most sought-after raw materials in the world. The alpaca fiber contains hardly any lanolin (wool grease) and is therefore dust, dirt and sweat repellent. Hence, wool and fur are also excellent for allergy sufferers, babies and even the most delicate skin.

huacaya alpaka in den anden

The quality.

Our partners and producers in Peru are handpicked and specialized exclusively in alpaca fur and wool. This way we can ensure the highest quality level of our products. We use only Royal Alpaca for our alpaca fur products and Ultrafine Alpaca for our wool collections. The quality of alpaca fiber is traditionally measured by fiber thickness. The thinner the fiber, the finer the fur and the greater the wow effect when you touch it for the first time.

The quality level “Royal Alpaca” means that the fiber thickness is less than 20 microns. This corresponds to a tenderness similar to that of silk and cashmere. This high quality is reflected in the so-called “crimp”, a slightly crimped fiber that becomes visible when the fur is blown into. Our Ultrafine Alpaca wool collections have a fiber thickness below 23 microns.

We regularly have the fiber quality of our products randomly tested in the independent laboratory of the Universidad Agraria La Molina in Lima. Thus, certificates with a fiber thickness of only 15 microns are available.

Alpaka und Baby Alpaka

The grooming.

Alpaca products are easy and uncomplicated to maintain. Due to the special nature and robustness of the fur, alpaca products rarely need cleaning and can be cleaned without fear of damage.

To maintain the unique properties of the alpaca fiber, we recommend occasional shaking in the fresh air for larger products and if necessary, gentle vacuuming of the alpaca fur. For smaller products, regular brushing with a wire fur brush is sufficient to maintain the natural shine. This especially concerns products made of Suri fur. For coarse soiling, professional cleaning is advised.