Alpaca fiber is a one of the finest natural, organic fibers. In general, alpaca fiber, when compared to sheep wool, is stronger, lighter, warmer, and more resilient. Finer grades of alpaca fiber (known commercially as “Baby Alpaca”) are believed to be hypo-allergenic, meaning they do not irritate skin as sheep’s wool sometimes does. Unlike sheep’s wool, alpaca fiber contains no lanolin and is therefore ready to spin after only nominal cleaning of the fleece. Prized for its unique, silky feel, and superb “handle,” alpaca fiber is highly sought-after by both cottage-industry artists (hand spinners, knitters, weavers, etc.) as well as the commercial fashion industry.
Suri fiber, in particular, is a high end, luxury fiber prized for its combination of luster, fineness, slick handle, cool feeling, drape, elegance, and strength. No other animal fiber possesses all these features, and it makes Suri highly sought after throughout the world.
The finer grades of alpaca are very suitable for garments worn next to the skin, such as scarves, gloves, hats, sweaters. The higher grades of fiber make beautiful, sturdy blankets, throws, rugs and other home décor accessories.
One facet of alpaca fiber that makes it so popular is its great variety of natural colors; pure white, shades of beige, fawn and brown, gray and true black – over 17 natural colors with many other subtle shades and hues. These colors can be readily dyed, thus offering a rainbow of colors for the fiber artist. Alpaca fiber can also be combined with other fine fibers like merino wool, cashmere, mohair, silk, and angora to attain incredible blends.