I often get asked “What is Alpaca?” For those of you who don’t know here’s a quick run down:
Alpacas are a domesticated species of South American camelid that resemble small llamas. They produce one of the world’s most luxurious fibers that is softer than cashmere and lighter, warmer, and more durable than wool. (Statistically, 7 or more times warmer than wool!)
Originally from the Peruvian Andes, alpaca fiber was often referred to as the “Fiber of the Gods” by ancient Incans.
During the summers, the animals are shorn for their fiber which can then be spun to produce yarns for both machine and handwoven products. The shearing process does not hurt or injure the animals.
In terms of sustainability, alpaca is a natural fiber made of protein so it will naturally biodegrade when disposed of and blends into the earth within a relatively short period of time when compared to synthetic or man-made fibers which take a long time to degrade and has a negative impact on our environment. Because of its hollow core, alpaca is considered to be seven times warmer than wool, more durable, softer and silkier than most fibers. Alpaca does not contain lanolin or grease making it hypo-allergenic because it holds less dust, allergans and bacteria.
Object Mythology’s alpaca products are made from the finest quality fibers. Our designs are interpretations of traditional techniques and methods that have been passed down through many generations. We strive to preserve the culture and techniques in hopes that these artisans will be able to pass their craft from generation to generation which creates a sense of security for themselves and their families.
Photo provided by The International Alpaca Association.