Alpaca is one of the most famous animals - producers of high-quality wool in the world. Alpaca is a home artiodactyl animal, the ancestor of which was vicuña. Alpaca is from South America. This animal is very appreciated for its amazing wool.
Alpaca exist for thousands years in the Andes, they could not settle in other places of the planet because of the natural need for rarefied air. These animals live at an altitude of about 3500-5000 meters. About 6,000 years ago, the Peruvian Indians domesticated and began to breed alpaca. In the culture of Mocha are many images of those animals. Like Chinese silk, this animal was also "gold", used as equivalent of money, the unit of account, its wool was called "Inca gold." It is true that alpaca wool has many properties that are not inherent in other types of yarn and wool. At the moment, they mainly live in the territory of Peru, a small part - in the territory of western Bolivia and a very small number in Ecuador and northern Chile. They are social animals; Alpacas live in family groups.
Alpaca is famous for its wool. All its charm is that it has all the properties of sheep, but at the same time, it is much lighter in weight, plus, this wool is known for having 24 natural shades. Shaved hair is hand-picked from Peruvian alpaca, which gives a unique chance to create creative, natural colours. Unfortunately, in the last few years, due to several severe winters, the alpaca population has decreased, a huge number of animals have died, alpacas of many shades simply disappear.
There are two types of alpaca - Suri and Uakaya. The difference between them is that the first species has a long wool in the form of braids, and the wool of the second looks like a soft plush.
The Suri - unique species and, correspondingly, its wool is more expensive than the wool of Uakaya. The amount of Suri alpaca is about 5%. Her wool has longer and thinner fibres: from 19 to 25 microns. The whole length is straight and only slightly curled on the tips, the alpaca wool has no awn, which does not reduce the quality of the fleece (hair).
Since the wool of Suri is very soft, in the old days it was used only for the making clothes fro royal families.
Alpaca wool is divided into several types according to its diameter: Royal Alpaca - fibre diameter 19 μm, Baby Alpaca - 22.5 μm, very soft alpaca (alpaca fine) - fibre diameter 25.5 am and Adult alpaca - 32 μm. Virtually none of the wool in the world can compare with alpaca fur, and especially young species, repels fat and is waterproof. In addition, it is seven times warmer than the sheep and does not cause allergies.
They harvest alpaca, unlike sheep, once a year and receive only 3-3.5 kg of wool from one animal. The wool of alpaca does not have the property of rolling down, falling down. You can see similarities between spools on an alpaca or superfine baby, but these spools are easily removed by hand, leaving no clues and other marks on the product. This is also a property of alpaca - so the delicate fluff of wool departs, the product keeps its appearance and shape for many years.
The best types of alpaca wool are Baby Alpaca and Alpaca Super Fine. Baby alpaca - wool, cut from young individuals, this fleece - the highest quality is the rarest, expensive and high-quality. Alpaca Super Fine has a rune diameter of 25.5 microns.
The wool of adult alpaca is slightly itchy, but the product is never thicker, incredibly warm and noisy.