For thousands of years, Alpacas have coexisted with humans. The Andean civilization of the Andes Mountains gave the animal a central place in their society, using Alpacas in religious ceremonies and clothing themselves from their fleece.
Alpacas live to be between 15-25 years old. They are smaller than Llamas, standing about 3 feet tall at the withers with a long, graceful neck and thick, woolly fiber all over. They typically weigh 100-175 pounds and give birth once per year to one baby, called a ‘cria’. Alpaca fiber is stronger and several times warmer than wool, with an incredibly soft. Alpacas come in 22 distinct colors so that the fleece can be blended to produce an infinite array of earth tones. It also can be dyed to produce the marvelous bright or soft colors valued by current fashion trends. Artisans from Bolivia & Peru mad a variety of products from alpaca wool colored with natural dyes.
Alpaca fiber - considered a luxury fiber - usually rivals the popularity of such fine fibers as cashmere and pashmina among top designers around the world as its texture is much stronger than merino sheep wool and its softness and silkiness is superior to that of angora and cashmere wools.