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 Alpaca,KK: [ae`paeka],n.(名詞 noun)

There are few things in this world that have retained their rarity and distinctiveness for centuries. Even during the realm of the Incas, rare and luxurious alpaca fleece was worth its weight in gold.

The Alpaca is most closely related to the vicuña, a rigorously protected species belonging to the same genus as the llama.

They are rare animals found in half-domesticated herds inhabiting the valleys of the Andes at altitudes of up to 4000 metres. Their lightweight and very robust coats protect them from the extreme temperature differences between day and night that are so typical of their natural habitat.

Because of its extraordinarily qualities, alpaca hair is ranked among the finest and most exquisite fibres that nature has to offer. It is characterised by its particular delicacy; its fleece (shorn hair) is extremely long, lightly crimped and remarkably soft.

The South American Indians carefully shear their herds by hand every two years. The precious fleece is carefully sorted according to colour tone and quality and then sent to the Peruvian seaport of Arequipa, the centre for international trade of alpaca hair, to be sold.

Only the finest raw fibres with unaltered natural colours qualify for the long journey to expert European spinners. It is from those specialists that we obtain the alpaca yarn that we use to make our premium woven fur.

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