The Royal Fiber of the Incas

The Origin of Alpaca

Alpaca is a durable fiber that comes from a New World branch of the camel family that lives in the Andes Mountains at altitudes of 11,000 to 16,000 feet.

Alpacas, however, are anything but wild; they have been bred over the course of millennia, probably from their smaller cousin, the vicuña. Their fur has been a trade item in the Andes for thousands of years, as high-altitude cultures like Tihuanaco and the Incas traded it with hotter coastal cultures below.

Why buy Alpaca?

Alpaca is a rare fiber with limited production. It is warmer, softer and far more durable than wool. Due to its long fiber length, alpaca will never pill. Your Alpaca item is an investment that will still look beautiful many years after its purchase.

Alpaca is a Socially Responsible Fiber
Alpaca is an ecologically sustainable "green" fiber. Alpacas graze freely as they have for millenia. The husbandry of alpaca sustains rural families in the highlands of Peru, enabling them to stay in their traditional homes.

The Royal Fiber of the Incas

During the Inca Empire (1200 AD-1532 AD), only the royal family could use clothing made of alpaca. In those days, alpaca was woven into tight rectangles of colorful cloth, which were in turn draped or wrapped around the body, or sometimes joined into tunics. Knitting did not exist, but examples of masterfully crocheted four-cornered hats are still found in Inca graves.