All You Need To Know About Alpacas!
What is Alpaca?
Alpacas are one of the most beautiful South American camelids. They come from the same family as llama and camels but are smaller in size with much finer hair. The alpaca has been valued for it’s fibre since pre-Inca times. During the time of the Inca, alpaca fibre was used to make clothing only for royalty and was known as ‘The Fibre of the Gods’.
Alpacas have been domesticated ever since the time of pre-Inca cultures. They have lived in altitudes varying from 2,500 to more than 4,500 metres above sea level for thousands of years, withstanding extreme climatic conditions which can fluctuate between -20°C to 30°C in a single day. Due to these extreme conditions, alpaca possesses unique and special thermal fibres which are able to ‘breathe’ on hot days and keep it insulated and retain body heat on cold days. It truly is a special fibre designed by nature.
There are 2 types of alpacas.
Huacaya alpacas are strong and robust whose medium-length hair have a fluffy appearance. Their fibre grows perpendicularly and has density, softness, lustre and curls with a spongy appearance. They make up 90% of total alpaca population.
Suri alpacas are slim and delicate with long, shaggy hair that often reaches almost to the ground. Their fibre grows parallel to the body with curls around it, like fringes. They make up only 10% of the alpaca population in Peru.
ÄYA Alpaca Fibres
This fibre is recognised for it’s softness, lightness and subtle shine. It has the largest selection of natural tones in the weaving world with 22 natural colours. From white, brown and grey, to black. The selection of baby alpaca fibre can only be hand chosen by skilled artisans They have the ability to feel and hand pick fibre with an average fineness between 22 to 23 microns. This fibre represents 25% of total alpaca production.
The most demanding selection of the best alpaca fibre from both breeds (Suri and Huacaya), carried out by expert hands of master artisans with ancient secrets. They are able to hand pick the finest fibre between 18-19 microns. This unique fibre represents only 2% of total alpaca production. Royal alpaca products have a subtle lustre and are naturally silky in appearance and touch.
Baby Alpaca Suri
The Suri breed is rare and represents only 10% of the total alpaca population. It produces a very fine fibre of up to 16cm in length. This soft and silky fibre has a natural shine giving garments a visible and very particular elegance. Representing only 0.5% of total processed alpaca fibre, it truly is rare, exclusive and one of the most valuable fibres.
Key Properties of Alpaca Fibre
- Unique and superior thermal properties
- Warmer, stronger but lighter than sheep’s wool and cashmere
- Naturally hypo-allergenic
- Dust mite resistant
- Excellent moisture wicking properties
- Mold and mildew resistant
- Odour resistant
- One of the strongest natural fibres, second only to silk
什麼是羊駝？ 羊駝是南美洲最美麗的駱駝類動物之一。相比起其他駱駝類動物，他們的體型較小，毛髮更幼細。自印加時代前，羊駝就因其毛髮纖維而受到重視。在印加時代，羊駝的毛髮纖維僅用於製作皇室服裝，且被稱為“眾神的纖維”。 遠至印加時代以前，羊駝就已經被馴化了。幾千年來，它們一直生活在海拔 2,500 到 4,500 多米的高度，每天承受著波動於 -20°C 到 30°C 之間的極端氣候條件。基於這些極端的天氣條件，羊駝擁有獨特毛髮纖維，能夠在炎熱的日子裡讓肌膚呼吸，並在寒冷的日子裡保持隔熱並保持體溫。它確實是一種天然設計的特殊纖維
Suri 羊駝身材苗條，牠們精緻，長而蓬鬆的毛髮常幾乎生長直到地面。它們的毛髮纖維與身體平行生長，並且有捲曲的特性。牠們僅佔秘魯羊駝種群的 10%。
這種毛髮纖維以其柔軟、輕盈和微妙的光澤的特性而聞名。它擁有編織界中最多的天然色調選擇，共有 22 種天然顏色包括白色、棕色和灰色，和黑色。只有熟練的工匠才能手工挑選小羊駝纖維，因為只有他們能用手去觸摸和挑選平均幼度介乎於 22 到 23 微米之間的纖維。這種纖維佔羊駝總產量的 25%。
這是從兩個品種（Suri 和 Huacaya）中挑選出最優質的羊駝毛纖維，並由洞悉古老秘密的大師級工匠之手進行。他們能夠專業地手工挑選 18-19 微米之間最幼細的毛髮纖維。這種獨特的纖維僅佔羊駝毛總產量的 2%。皇家羊駝產品具有微妙的光澤與天然柔滑的外觀和觸感。
Suri 品種非常少見，而且僅佔羊駝總數的 10%。牠們可以生產長達 16 厘米但非常幼細的纖維。這種柔軟絲滑的纖維具有天然的光澤，用於衣服上能明顯地賦予服裝一種非常特別的優雅。它僅佔加工羊駝毛纖維總量的 0.5%，確實是稀有、獨特和最有價值的纖維之一。