Alpaca & Vicuña

About Alpaca

Peru has a long history of textile production, beginning over five thousand years ago when weavers from pre-Inca and Incan cultures began utilizing  fibers from Pima Cotton and Alpaca.

Today, these ancient techniques, mixed with a modern and competitive manufacturing industry, have made Perú a hub for high quality textile production.

Peru is home to nearly 80% of the world’s total Alpaca yarn production and in recent years top international brands from Ulla Johnson to Ralph Lauren.

Peruvian Alpaca is world renowned its softness and versatility. Alpaca fiber has a natural range of 22 colors and a silk-like texture as well as being hypoallergenic.

Alpacas are native to the mountain range of the Andes; they reside at altitudes of more than 4,000 meters and withstand extreme temperatures.

In sweaters, ponchos or coats, Alpaca yarns have special breathable properties, which are cooling in warm weather and trap warmth in cold weather.

Alpaca comes from the South of Perú, where breeders take tend to the animals in the rural mountainous regions around Puno and Cusco.

After the animals are sheered, their fur is taken to be processed in Arequipa, a beautiful colonial city which is home to the nation’s traditional textile industry.

As a major source of local economic development for rural communities, Alpaca’s are able to live in their natural environment, before being sheered in a sustainable manner.

There are two main breeds of Alpaca , Huacaya (the most common type of alpaca, which makes up 85% of yarns) & Suri (which makes up approximately 15% of alpaca fibers).

Both of these breeds have their own characteristics, which translate to the final garment including their touch, appearance and elasticity.

Textile Production in Peru

Peru’s textile industry offers the fashion world: high-quality production for a reasonable price, optimum lead-times, minimums that are viable for brands of all sizes & a deep commitment to sustainability.

Our products and services embody the principles of fair trade through respect and equity. This creates equitable commercial conditions for stakeholders throughout the value chain: from fiber production, to yarn, fabric and tailoring.

Peruvian manufacturers are known for their quality, consistency and affordability. With a wide range of manufacturers with experience producing for an international market, brands and designers can find a production partner no matter their size.

Peru also has an enviable trade deal with the United States, wherein Alpaca & Pima Cotton garments that are made in Peru do not have any US duties.

This agreement makes Peru a high-quality and affordable location for textile production, especially when compared to taxes and duties that are levied on goods from China or Europe.

If you are interested in producing textiles in Perú, our office can answer general questions and connect you with factories, designers & production managers, to help make your project a reality!

Perú also hosts a bi-annual sourcing trade show called PerúModa, which takes place in Lima and a rotating location within the United States. The show features some of the nations best textile factories and manufacturers, making it convenient for brands to meet potential production partners.

For more information on PerúModa please visit PERU MODA.

Alpaca in America

Peruvian brands, and Peruvian produced goods have become more and more influential in the American market. From boutiques across the West Coast and throughout the nation, you can and wear a piece for yourself that is centuries in the making of Peru’s textile tradition.

For more information about Alpaca from Perú, manufacturing in Perú and where to find Peruvian textiles on the West Coast, please our Los Angeles office.

Vicuña

below the alpaca drawing

While Perú is famous for its Alpaca, it is also home to several native animals whose fiber has been used in garments for centuries.

One of these is animals is the  Vicuña, a small camelid in the same family as Llama, Alpacas & Guanacos. These tiny creatures weigh approximately 100 pounds and stand 3 feet tall.

Unlike other species, Vicuñas have not been domesticated for their fur, and instead can be found in the wild throughout the Peruvian highlands.

While Vicuña has been coveted for generations, Peru has taken steps to protect the species and help it repopulate to healthy numbers, from the brink of extinction in the mid 20th century.

They are known for their ultra soft and resilient fur which can be sustainably sheared and is favored by exclusive luxury designers in the United States & Europe.

This extremely high quality fiber comes at a steep price though, with a  vicuña jacket can going for as much as $20,000, and suits over $40,000 from top brands such as Ermenegildo Zenga and Loro Piana.

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