“Quirky, inquisitive and endearing, raising alpacas is as close as I will ever get to having my own magical unicorns.”The alpaca is a species of South American camelid descended from the vicuña. This little ruminant is similar to, and often confused with, the llama. However, alpacas are noticeably smaller than llamas.
In America, this easy-to-care-for livestock is raised for it’s wonderfully sturdy and versatile fleece, also called “fiber”. There are two kinds of alpacas, the suri (pronounced: SOO-ree) alpaca, which sports long, silky, curly locks, and the huacaya (pronounced: wah-KY-ah) alpaca, which grows a thick, teddy-bear-like fleece. The fiber from both species of alpaca is used to make clothing, fiber arts, blankets, rugs hats and more.
Because alpaca fiber is hollow, it is both lighter and warmer than sheep’s wool and it is even water-repellent! It also lacks the lanolin coating of sheep’s wool, making it a great alternative for people with wool allergies.