Peruvian Baby Alpaca
Baby Alpaca is one of the rarest fibers in the world. The scarcity of the fiber limits the number of products that can be produced each year making those products highly sought after.
Of the 6,000 tons of alpaca fiber produced in the world annually, only a small percentage of it is fine enough to be classified as ‘Baby Alpaca’ of that only 1% of that fiber is fine enough to be classified as ‘Royal Baby Alpaca’.
Baby alpaca is a term used for the finest fleece from the softest areas of the alpacas body 80% of the alpaca fiber produced in the world comes from the Andean regions of Peru.
Alpaca fiber is seven times warmer than wool per weight and highly breathable and moisture wicking making it warm in winter and cool in summer. Its long lustrous fibers resist stain, odor and flame and are naturally wrinkle resistant. The strength and length of the fibers make it less prone to pilling and last longer than other fibers like wool and cashmere and the lack of lanolin in the fiber means that alpaca is hypoallergenic and can be worn by those with wool allergies.
Alpacas are members of the camelid family and are closely related to the camel, llama, vicuna and guanaco. They are gentle and inquisitive in nature and communicate most commonly using soft purring or humming sounds. Actual baby alpacas are called ‘Tui’s’ pronounced (too-ey). Peruvian alpacas inhabit the Altiplano plateau of the Andes and live up to 4000 meters above sea level.
Alpaca fiber has an incredibly light ecological footprint. Unlike cashmere goats, alpacas have soft padded feet which do not damage the grasslands and mountains on which they graze nor do they pull the grasses out by the root when eating, thus preventing damage to the landscapes in which they live
Alpacas are also more efficient than goats. An alpaca drinks less water than a goat and can easily grow enough wool for four to five sweaters a year. It takes four goats the same amount of time to produce sufficient cashmere for a single sweater
Because alpaca does not contain lanolin, the fibers do not require the same high heat processing that wool must undergo to remove the lanolin and therefore the manufacturing of the fibers has less of an impact on the environment and the light process means the fibers last longer
Alpaca fiber comes in 22 natural colors and more than 300 natural shades, preventing the need for extensive dying to create finished goods. When the fibers are dyed, our factories only use low-impact water based dyes to achieve the desired color
Production of alpaca fiber is a source of pride for the Peruvian people and is held very close to their culture. The very human process of raising the alpacas, gathering the fiber, sorting and weaving boosts local indigenous communities and provides a sustainable source of income
The fiber used in our manufacturing process (including our fur pieces) is always obtained by shearing the alpaca fur, alpacas are never killed in the collection of the fiber we use.
Once sheared, alpaca fibers are sorted entirely by hand for their softness. The process is often performed by women who have learned the skill from their mothers and grandmothers and the result is highly accurate.