THE MAKE | Alpaca
Alpacas are magical creatures. We make our knits using their coats because they naturally (and harm free!) produce a fiber that we find to be pretty awesome when it comes to environmental impact and longevity. Not to mention, they're pretty cute...
01. Alpacas are social butterflies —
As herd animals who love companionship, they get stressed when separated from their friends and use their tails to express their feelings to each other.
02. Sunbathing is one of their favorite hobbies.
03. They love the earth —
With soft padded two-toed feet Alpaca's leave terrain undamaged, unlike hard hooves. When grazing, they only nibble the top of the pasture grass rather than uprooting it (they make excellent lawn mowers). By rotating between two or three pastures, there is always a fresh supply of grass.
04. Alpaca's walk the Earth in a rainbow of hues — 22 colors in total.
05. Alpaca farmers carefully shear their animals annually with their natural shedding cycle and the animals are not harmed.
"Baby Alpaca" is often seen on sweater care labels. This does not mean that baby alpacas are sheared to get their wool. “Baby Alpaca” is the name of higher quality fiber (in average 22.5 microns in diameter) found in adult animals. I repeat, only adult alpacas are sheared; baby alpacas are not!
06. There's nothing they can't do —
Alpacas are hypoallergenic. Their fur is both flame and water-resistant, making our sweaters hand washable. They're also resistant to odor, so no need to wash after every wear. Fibers are smooth, so Alpaca isn't itchy like wool. It's also incredibly light and breathable - so you can comfortably wear an alpaca sweater indoors without suffocating (think about it - Alpaca's live outdoors comfortably in sun and snow!).
The majority of Alpacas in our world live in Peru, where there are roughly 3.5 million of them. Farming and Alpaca products are a source of livelihood for thousands of Peruvian families. Here at Maria Stanley, we are lucky to visit Peru each Spring to say hello to our furry friends and the talented artisan makers of our Alpaca knits.