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  Huacaya Alpaca fiber is very dense and is fluffy

Alpaca Fiber

Alpaca fiber was highly prized by the Inca in the high country (altiplano) of the Andes and the finest fiber was reserved only for royalty. Today, over 35,000 alpacas are being raised in the U.S. for their silky fiber, known for its softness, and  hypo-allergenic properties. Alpaca fiber is hollow, which increases its insulating capabilities, and does not contain the heavy lanolin found in sheep's wool. 

Top European fashion designers have used alpaca for decades in their high-end garments, and alpaca is gaining popularity throughout the world. In the U.S. it has been a hand-crafters' fiber of choice, however, a number of specialty fiber processing mills are being operated in this country.

Suri Alpaca fiber hangs in long twisted locks
and is very silky

Alpaca fiber is commonly sold according to it fineness, and the "hand" or touch-factor of the fiber. The finest alpaca grade is known as baby, but can be from an animal of any age. It received this name because most animal's fiber becomes slightly coarser as they age. Lighter colors are generally finer than dark because of a decades long effort in South America to breed only whites at the request of European textile mills who preferred to dye the fabric rather than use natural colors. There are 16 colors recognized today, but are dozens of shades in between, ranging from white to beige, brown and gray and black.

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