Mixing culture, sustainability, and comfort .
Alpaca and llamas are native to South America the Andes mountains, specifically in Bolivia, Peru, Chile, and Ecuador. They are docile, calm, and intelligent relatives of the camel. They are known for having coats that thermo-insulate in both warm and cold weather. There are two types of alpaca: the Suri and Huacaya. Their fleece is classified as a luxury fiber to make high quality garments.
Sarah Christie uses llama, baby alpaca, royal baby alpaca, and Suri alpaca in its designs. Suri alpaca is long, entwined like dreadlocks. It is softer than huacaya and sometimes compared to cashmere. Baby alpaca is the first fiber from an adult alpaca, and it is the highest quality of alpaca fleece.
The shearing of alpaca is done once or twice a year. It is carried out by hand, using shears, and the animal is not harmed in the process. Afterwards, the wool is spun into yarn, where the raw wool is converted into useful threads; later the threads are combined in order to form stronger one’s. Spinning is a predominant feminine activity in the indigenous culture.
The alpaca is considered one of the most green/sustainable fabrics for clothing. Alpaca wool is considered sustainable since it is not harmful for the environment. Their feet are softly padded – preventing the destruction of pasture, and they eat unfertilized grass. Moreover, alpaca is naturally dyed - that artificial dyes do not have to be used to get the desired colors. It supports the indigenous culture community and source of income. In addition, the alpaca wool is hypoallergenic and water resistant.