Where do Alpacas come from?

A very short history lesson first!

Related to the Vicuna, Llama and Guanaco the Alpaca was treasured by the ancient Inca civilisation of South America for it's soft fibre for clothing and it's production of meat, the finest fleeces were reserved for royalty and known as the Fibre of the Gods.

1,000 years before the Roman Empire existed there was a thriving economy in South America based on the Alpaca and their fibre was thought to have been even better than the very finest we have today. Unfortunately the Spanish conquest of the Incas 500 years ago resulted in the Alpaca being hunted almost to extinction for food and because it was considered to be a competitor for the introduced sheep grazing grounds. The survivors were driven higher into the Andes mountains where they remained. It wasn't until the mid 1980's that the first Alpacas were imported into the US and Canada, then Australia and New Zealand. Alpacas started to arrive in the UK in the mid 90's and are now bred all over Europe.

Europe is a fair way behind America and Australia in it's ability to provide a sustainable fibre industry at the moment which requires more top quality animals producing more fibre of a consistent quality to supply the high end clothing market. The more people who chose to own these lovely animals and use their lustrous fibre the better for our industry in the future.