Huacaya alpacas are recognized
by their fluffy, "teddy-bear" look.
Their fiber is warm and is valued by hand spinners
based on the amount of crimp or crinkle in the
lock structure, along with the fineness of the
fiber. They had been domesticated for years
by the Incas of South America, and unlike their
cousins, the Llamas, were bred for their fiber.
The finest fiber was reserved for royalty.
Huacayas are the more common
alpaca sub-type, but there is only around 30,000
of them in the United States. Most people who
are allergic to wool can wear alpaca garments.
The fibers of both the Suri and the Huacaya
are hollow for better insulating, smoother,
with little "prickle" effect, and
have no lanolin like sheeps' wool.