alpaca goat faceAlpaca hair is one of the most valued and special animal fibres used in textiles because of its excellent natural properties. It is an ideal material for bedding and clothing as it is as soft as cashmere, naturally lanolin free (making it hypoallergenic), and six times warmer and lighter than sheepʼs wool. Alpacas (Lama pacos) are camelids, a close relative of the llama, and were first bred for their wool in the South American Andes around 5000 BC. In these ancient Incan times, alpaca fibre was used to make clothes for the royalty and was known as “The Fibre of the Gods”. There are two main breeds of alpaca; the Huacaya alpaca with a dense and curly crimped coat, and the Suri alpaca with more lustrous but less curly hair which hangs down the body with a middle parting down its back. Alpaca wool is naturally black, brown, white or grey and the various colours are often used together remaining un-dyed.