Alpaca wool has many qualities and characteristics. Many people use different terms to refer to the same thing. The aim of this page is to explain in a few words what alpaca wool is and the different types of alpaca used throughout the Goldstone Peru website.
Alpaca's original habitat is the Andes (Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Chili) however they can be found today in many countries including in England. They are a domesticated species of south American Camelid. Alpaca produce a long fiber that has a broad colour range from white to black. There are two main species of Alpaca:
- Suri: which has a long and silky fiber
- Huacaya: shorter wavier fiber.
The extraordinary warmth and softness of both fibers are a source of inspiration for the development of the Andean textile industry, in particular during Inca times. This fiber plays a key role in the fashion industry in current times. Some key characteristics of alpaca are:
- Soft, lightweight and strong
- Breathable comfortable and long lasting
- Silky smooth - you do not get prickly sensation that you get with wool (no lanolin in alpaca)
- It does not contain lanolin and therefore it is hypoallergenic
- Contains microscopic air pockets that provide thermal insulation.
- One of the most luxurious fibers in the world. It is sustainable and eco-friendly.
- It is very fine, between 19-32 microns.
In this website we refer to the following varieties of Alpaca:
- Royal Baby Alpaca: This is the finest type of measured to 19 microns
- Baby Alpaca: It's fineness is measured to 21-23 microns
- Alpaca Wool: between 25-27 microns.
- Alpaca/Silk: Combines the softness of the Alpaca and smoothness of silk to create luxurious clothing.