Alpaca Facts and Information
Alpaca my bags and we can go on vacation! I’m sorry, I just couldn’t help myself. See this handsome furry creature? (Other than me, I mean). It’s an Alpaca! With their floppy furry tufts, doe eyes and goofy grins, they might just be the cutest of the Camelidae family. Besides their quirky good looks, these creatures also bear some of the silkiest, most versatile fibre found in nature, for which they are shorn annually. Alpaca fleece is described as being stronger than mohair, smoother than silk, finer than cashmere, and warmer, yet better-breathing than thermal knits. The fleece is also flame resistant, water resistant, hypo-allergenic and comes in 16 colour tones! No wonder it was only used by nobility in the ancient times!
Where do Alpacas come from?
The alpaca originated from Peru. They were thought to be domesticated by the Indians of the Andes Mountains and live in the high mountain foot hills. Now however, they can be found in North America, South America, Australia as well as the UK. There are 2 types of Alpacas – Suri and the huacaya. The suri has fibre that grows long and forms silky dreadlocks. The huacaya has a woolly, dense, crimped fleece — like a teddy bear. The cuddly one next to me is a huacaya.
These gentle animals are herbivores and have 3 stomachs which help them process their food. They also have a relatively high life expectancy of about 20-25 years. They make really good pets too! I have half a mind to bring this one home!