Alpacas are in the Camelid Family with camels being the largest. Llamas are their cousins and are larger than alpaca. Llamas and alpacas are both native to South America particularly Peru, Bolivia and Chile. The Altiplano region of Peru has alpaca herds roaming freely in the desert upper plateau region of the Andes Mountains. The alpaca shown in this picture are from the Altiplano.
Alpacas are bred for the softness, warmth and quality of their fleece. The breeder role is to feed the alpacas well and to mate the female and male properly to provide the best fleece traits. The goal is to produce an elite fleece and quality cria (baby alpaca) with superior breeding values. There are two breeds of alpaca: Huacaya and Suri
Huacaya fleece grows perpendicular to the skin and should be fine, dense and uniform. 80% of the world’s alpacas are Huacaya. Suri fleece falls close to the body, moves freely and give the animal a lustrous, flat sided appearance. They can look like they just had a bath when they have not.
We utilize both types of fleece in our production. Most of our sweaters and accessories are produced with Huacaya. When we state it is 78% alpaca or 40% alpaca it is with the Huacaya fleece.
We specifically state when we use Suri. Our Suri blend is 74% Suri Alpaca, 22% Merino wool and 4% nylon.