See the luster and feel the softness of a fine suit or sweater made from Alpaca Fabric.
From the high mountain deserts of the Altiplano in South America's Andes comes the wonderful an imal we call the Alpaca. The first known records of alpacas are in drawings on the walls of caves founf high in the Andean Mountains and there is eveidence that alpacas have been domesticated for thousands of years. The alpaca is apparently closely related to the Vicuna , a wild member of the camelid family that also lives in the Andes. The alpaca and vicuna have a similar skeleton , shape of ears and teeth, and genetis characteristics.
Alpacas became the foundation of prosperous civilizations high above sea level. Fiber from the alpaca was uniquely suited to clothe the Andean people in their harsh environment, in that it could be woven into warm , soft garments that could be comforatably worn next to the skin. During the time of the Incan Empire alpacas were revered for their many colors and exceptionally soft fleeces. Evidence of very fine alpaca fiber has been found in the woven garmentsof that time.
In 1984 the first alpacas were imported to the United States from Chile , followed by Bolivia in 1989. Exporting of alpacas from Peru was illegal until 1991. Peruvians consider alpacas to be a nationalresource and sought to control the supply of fleece by limitin the export of alpaca breeding stock. In 1993 , however , the first Peruvian stock made its way to the United States. In 1998 , in an effort to limit the size of the American herd and control the arrival of animals with no known genetic or medical histories , stopped importation inti the US.
Alpaca breeders in North America are fcused on the improvement of alpaca conformation and its fleece production. The available expertise together with sound breeding practices , is allowing for the full potenial of the alpaca to be achieved. With our ever growing knowledge of breeding techniques , animal husbandry , and nutritional care , fiber quality is always improving.
Awareness of the unique quality of alpaca is increasing with the recognition gained from the promotional efforts of breeders in the United State , Canada , Australia , New Zealand and Europe. The terms luxury and alpaca are becoming synonymous. Discerning consumers everywhere are now enjoying the treasure which the Incas harvested from the back of the mystical alpaca.