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From high in the Peruvian Andes comes one of the finest luxury fibers in the world, baby alpaca. It’s incredibly soft, with a silk-smooth texture so fine it was once reserved for Inca royalty.
Cousin of the llama, alpacas graze at elevations of 10,000 to 14,000 feet on the harsh high plains of the Peruvian Andes. Their thick, sumptuous coats grow naturally in over 40 shades from ivory to black, and every grey and brown shade between.
Alpaca fiber is warmer and stronger than wool, and so resistant to saturation that it’s nearly water-repellant. It’s also free of the lanolin that is present in wool, making it hypoallergenic. Lighter shades of the fleece also take dyes beautifully, making it invaluable to our designers when they want to bring a vibrant sweater design to life.
There are countless reasons why alpaca fiber is so revered, but here at Peruvian Connection, it's how the fiber has woven its way into the history of Peruvian culture that makes it so compelling and endearing.
Peruvian Connection is founded upon more than 44 years of respect for Peruvian people, animals, landscapes, and culture. All of our shearing processes follow the protocol of “The Technical Norms for Shearing and Handling Alpaca Fiber Fleece” approved by the Peruvian Ministry of Production, which enforces a humane treatment of these gentle creatures.
Alpacas are virtually never raised for their fur in the Andes. Rather, they are necessarily sheared once a year for their own health to prevent disease and illnesses that arise when their fleece becomes too long or matted. The shearing of alpaca is a historic Peruvian practice that is typically grounded in the wellbeing of this peaceful and valuable animal. It is only when an animal dies of natural causes, which is common in the harsh reaches of the Altiplano, that the fur is harvested. Alpaca herding families are dependent on alpacas for their existence, and we stand by this traditional practice when it is executed properly.