Hello, my name is Illary, the Peruvian Alpaca. Surely, you have many doubts about my fiber, its benefits and my animal care. Let us begin. My family and I belong to one of the most beautiful South American camelids. We have been valued for our fiber since pre-Inca times due to the characteristics and quality of our fur.
There are two types of Alpaca families: Suri and Huacaya. We both differ from each other by the characteristics of our fiber and appearance. The Huacayas, like me, offer the widest variety of natural tones and we represent 90% of the Alpaca population in Peru, while my friends of the Suri family produce less variety of natural tones and only represent 10% of Alpacas. Amazing, right?
My breeders told me that according to research from the IV National Census of Agriculture (Cenagro) there are 3.6 million Alpacas in the country like me and that our fiber represents the livelihood of more than 82,000 small breeders. This would not be possible if our upbringing and care did not have the appropriate altitude and climate conditions. That is why our relationship with society is very important. Our breeders make sure that we live in the best conditions. They provide us with a balanced diet, low in protein and based on natural grass, hay and stems. In addition, they let us play as much as we want, they teach us new things every day and they pamper us a lot.
For thousands of years I have been a domesticated animal. I am very docile, funny and smart. My family and I have a very friendly temperament with our breeders and with the people who come to visit and know more about us. I like to meet new people. Yesterday, I met a friend named Carla who came to observe and learn about the shearing process while my cousin was getting a new cut. We stayed all afternoon playing together and taking lots of photos.
I suppose you will be surprised to read and get to know my story, but there is even more that I would like to tell you about me. Our Alpaca fiber is the reflection of the care and love they give to us. Thanks to our natural characteristics we can develop the growth of a fine fur that is biodegradable, compared to man–made fibers that take a long time to biodegrade, causing a negative impact on our environment.
And that’s not all. The versatility of our fiber allows our breeders to convert them not only into garments such as sweaters, skirts, coats and other types of clothing, but also into accessories and crafted goods. And what would you say if I told you that our fiber helps many people to combat sudden changes in temperature that occur in the country? Or that it is so resistant, that it results in very durable easy-care garments? With good care it could even last a hundred years.
“I am coming”. Well, my friends, they are already calling me to eat. If you want to get to know me, you know where to find me. I will wait for you and I promise to come back soon to continue telling you more about me and my family.
Photos of Illary traveling in the United States…