Alpaca fleece is the natural fiber harvested from an alpaca. It is light weight or heavy weight, depending on how it is spun. It is soft, durable, luxurious and silky natural fiber. While similar to sheep's wool, it is warmer, not prickly, and has no lanolin which makes it hypoallergenic. Alpaca is naturally water-repellent and difficult to ignite. Huacaya, an alpaca that grows soft spongy fiber has natural crimp, thus making a naturally elastic yarn, perfect for knits. Suri has far less crimp and thus is best suited for woven goods, but is wonderfully luxurious as well. The designer Armani has used Suri alpaca to fashion Men's and Women's suits. Alpaca fleece is made into various products, from very simple and inexpensive garments made by the aboriginal communities to sophisticated, industrially made and expensive products such as suits. In the United States, groups of smaller alpaca breeders have banded together to create "fiber co-ops," in order to make the manufacture of alpaca fiber products less expensive.
The preparing, carding, spinning, weaving and finishing process of alpaca is very similar to the process used for wool.
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