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Species: Alpaca (Vicugna pacos)
Genus: Vicugna
Family: Camelidae
Suborder: Tylopoda
Order: Artiodactyla
Superorder: Laurasiatheria


Vicugna pacos belongs to the camelid fam­i­ly and is a sub­species of the genus Vicugna, which was domes­ti­cat­ed in the Andes of South Amer­i­ca. A dis­tinc­tion is made between two breeds: the hua­caya, which has a stocky appear­ance and pro­duces an extreme­ly warm fibre, and the more slen­der suri, which has a silki­er fleece. Unlike the close­ly relat­ed lla­ma, these ani­mals were not tra­di­tion­al­ly used as beasts of bur­den. Instead, they were bred with the sole pur­pose of obtain­ing fibre.

Alpacas are extreme­ly robust and can adapt well to a wide range of cli­mat­ic con­di­tions. Nev­er­the­less, they are rarely raised on farms in Europe. Even though the pro­cess­ing of alpaca fibre is only in its infan­cy here, the breed­ing pro­gramme has the clear aim of pro­duc­ing a fin­er, tex­tured fibre that results in excep­tion­al­ly high-qual­i­ty wool fur­ther down the pro­duc­tion line.

Giv­en their qui­et and peace­ful nature, alpacas are also used in ani­mal-assist­ed ther­a­py in Ger­many. These gen­tle ani­mals have an amaz­ing effect on peo­ple with a wide range of con­di­tions, includ­ing autism spec­trum disorders.

The alpaca can claim a long, event­ful his­to­ry and is now one of the most valu­able pro­duc­ers of pre­mi­um fibres. More>

The chem­i­cal and phys­i­cal qual­i­ties of alpaca fibre are sim­i­lar to those of sheep wool, but the qual­i­ty is supe­ri­or to cash­mere and mohair. More>

Alpacas are not only proud, intel­li­gent and gen­tle crea­tures – they are also con­sid­ered to be one of the best live­stock invest­ments in the world. More>

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