The alpaca profile
Warm, soft and valuable. As one of the rarest, most beautiful and most valuable fibers in the world, alpaca is also known for its incomparable softness and special heat retention properties. In addition, it is increasingly seen as a more sustainable alternative to the oversaturated cashmere market. Find out everything you need to know about the wonderful animals, their origins and their unique fur.
The history of alpacas has a long tradition that goes back 6,000 years. The royal families of the Incas domesticated the peaceful animals and revered them because of their unique fur and the special properties of the alpaca fiber.
Alpacas are still considered a sanctuary in Peru today. With their wool they secure the livelihood of many Peruvian farmers. Of around 4 million animals worldwide, around 90% live in the Peruvian Andes. Alpacas are usually kept in small herds of 80 to 100 animals, at altitudes of up to 5,000 meters.
Alpacas are sociable herd animals. They live between 15 and 20 years, their back height is around 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 only differ in their fur structure. While the Huacaya's hair is short, slightly curled and particularly densely arranged, the Suri's coat is characterized by long, curly and silky hair, whose unique light reflection creates a beautiful, natural shine.
Due to their natural habitat, alpacas are often exposed to extreme environmental conditions and high temperature fluctuations.
The alpacas' sustainable fur is optimally adapted to these circumstances: the hair is particularly fine and tightly arranged to provide sufficient protection against cold and extreme weather. At the same time, the fiber is hollow on the inside and has a heat-insulating effect thanks to its special thermal properties - a unique fiber property that protectively regulates temperature differences of up to 25 degrees on a single day.
These properties make alpaca fiber one of the most sought-after raw materials worldwide. The alpaca fiber contains hardly any lanolin (wool fat) and is therefore dust, dirt and sweat-repellent. Wool and fur are therefore ideal for allergy sufferers, babies and even the most delicate skin.
Our partners and producers in Peru are hand-picked and specialize exclusively in alpaca fur and wool. This way we can ensure the highest quality level of our products. We only use Royal Alpaca for our alpaca fur products and Ultrafine Alpaca for our wool collections. The quality of alpaca fibers is traditionally measured by the fiber thickness. The thinner the fiber, the finer the fur and the greater the wow factor 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 delicacy 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 you blow on the fur. Our Ultrafine Alpaca wool collections have a fiber thickness under 23 microns.
We regularly have the fiber quality of our products randomly checked in the independent laboratory of the Universidad Agraria La Molina in Lima. There are certificates with a fiber thickness of only 15 microns.
Alpaca products are easy and simple to care for. Due to the special nature and natural robustness of the fur, alpaca products made from fur rarely need to be cleaned without fear of damage.
In order to maintain the unique properties of the alpaca fiber, we recommend shaking larger products occasionally in the fresh air and, if necessary, gently vacuuming the alpaca fur. For smaller products, regular brushing with a wire fur brush is sufficient to maintain the natural shine. This is especially true for products made from Suri fur. If there is serious dirt, professional cleaning is recommended.