|I love the colour of this fibre and you can see the natural crimp|
1) The Ancient Peruvians used Alpaca fleece to make clothes for royalty, it was known as 'The Fibre of the Gods'. It was a status symbol and a prized trade item. Textiles were the highest form of tribute and more highly valued than gold and silver.
2) Alpacas were domesticated in Ancient South America as much as 6000 years ago. Milenia of selective breeding produced the finest fibre. Alpaca were said to be on loan from the Gods for as long as the human race could treat them with kindness. They were highly prized, providing fibre, food and fuel. The Spanish Invaders failed to recognise the 'Treasure of the people' they were blinded by the Gold and Silver. 90% of Alpaca were slaughtered almost to extinction.
3) In 1989 there were only about 150 Alpaca in the UK, now there are more than 20 000.
4) Alpaca is as soft as cashmere yet lighter in weight, stronger and warmer than wool.
5) Alpaca is warmer than wool and is said to be 30% warmer than Merino.
6) Alpaca comes in 22 natural colours, reducing the need for dye. However white Alpaca is in demand and takes dye particularly well. British Alpaca Society 'Alpaca Fibre Colour Chart'
7) Alpacas are sheared annually and each fleece will weigh between 2 and 5 kg.
8) There is no lanolin in Alpaca fibre so this makes it hypoallergenic and more suitable for people with wool allergies.
9) Alpaca fibre is naturally fire retardant.
10) Alpaca is second only to silk for strength and durability.
The Premier Event for British Alpaca - in March, who knows what I could come back with?