Llama wool is an often misunderstood fleece. Many people are under the impression that llamas are for packing and alpacas for their fiber.  The truth is that there are good and bad fleeces for both animals. Just because it is a llama, doesn’t mean it packs and just because it is an alpaca, doesn’t mean it has great fiber.

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Llama wool has been used for hundreds of years to produce beautiful garments and soft furnishings. Two types of yarn are made using llama fleece. The fibers from the animal’s undercoat are extremely soft and fine, which means they are ideal for making all kinds of clothes. The animal’s outer hair is far thicker and coarser, which means it is extremely hard-wearing, making it ideal for rugs and tapestries.

Garments made with llama yarn are typically lighter than those made from sheep’s wool. However, the physical composition of llama wool means that it is actually warmer.
It is possible to make beautiful cardigans, jumpers, scarves, gloves and even socks from this very versatile wool. It is also perfect for knitting or crocheting intricate shawls. Some people that are allergic to animal hair or fiber, can tolerate some types of llama fleece!

Alpaca and llama fleece are classified as specialty or luxury fibers, but sheep fleece or wool tops the list of animal fibers used today. The camelids (alpaca and llama) are quite similar to each other in fiber and background, and even though they bear some similarity to sheep, the differences between the fibers of these herding animals are outstanding.

The llama is also a native of the Andes Mountains and has been domesticated for as long as the Alpaca. Providing native Incas with fine, gorgeous fleece. They were selectively bred to produce strong, large animals for packing (carrying the load during travel), hence the notable size difference between them and the alpacas. The llama rediscovery occurred in the 20th century, which was way behind its alpaca cousin. But breeders were no longer interested in the species as a load-carrying vehicle, after seeing the value in its fiber.

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Why choosing llama?

Warm when wet

Superior wicking coupled with the hollow fiber’s remarkable warmth/weight ratio makes llama fiber clothing optimum for outdoor activity in cool or cold weather.

Flame Retardant

High flame retardance (will not support a flame) and heat stability (will not melt) protect the outdoorsman and the garment when near an open flame or heat.

Resists Stains, Oils, Acids, And Chemicals

Llama fiber and fabrics have a high degree of oil resistance, acid and chemical resistance, as well as stain resistance. A llama fiber garment can be worn with confidence that incidental exposure to these agents won’t ruin it and ensures enduring protection from cold and moisture. Perfect for the outdoor job site.

Resists UV Light and Abrasion

University lab testing shows a high level of abrasion resistance as well as an amazingly high resistance to ultraviolet light. High altitude sun is the most demanding environment for UV exposure and Altiplano’s clothing is well adapted given its origin on the altiplano (+/-12,500’). It not only protects the wearer ensuring undiminished fiber life and garment color in conditions that readily degrade other fibers and fabrics.

Quiet Fiber

The soft, quiet fiber is particularly effective for photography, birding, and hunting/fishing. Freedom from puffy, stiff, rustling garments that betray every motion they simultaneously inhibit is a great advantage.

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