By Sara Milanes
One of the founders at HOPE MADE IN THE WORLD
Alpacas are a tamed species of camelids from the Andean Region in South America, which resemble small llamas. They produce one of the world’s most luxurious fibers that are softer than cashmere, and lighter, warmer, and more durable than wool.
Alpaca is either light or heavy, depending on how it is spun. While similar to sheep´s wool, it is not irritable, and has no oil, which makes it hypoallergenic. Alpaca is naturally water-repellent and difficult to ignite. Huacaya, an alpaca that grows a softer more malleable fiber, has natural crimp, consequently making a naturally adaptable yarn suitable for knitting. For our first collection, for example, we obtained our fiber from the Huacaya alpaca. The Suri alpaca on the other hand has no crimp, and is therefore, a better fit for woven garments.
Arequipa, Peru, where our primary manufacturing partner is located, is home to approximately 8 million alpacas, and produces the finest of fibers of its kind. They call alpacas the noblest of animals, and respect and care for the environment where the animals live and grow.