LlamaSoft – a trademark of BONALLA – is a special type of wool that is derived from the fibers that naturally grow on llamas. These animals are known as camelids since they are similar to camels.
One of the rarest natural fibers in the world, Llama Soft comes not from wool but hair, which accounts for its unmistakable feel.
Llamas are native to South America. Between September and March, when it’s warm and nice out in the Andes, local workers comb the llamas and dehair them in the traditional way. This process is done all by hand with scissors, -just like a haircut- the lamas are treated with much care, absolutely no products are used on the animals or their hair. After dehairing them, the llamas are left with about 1cm of hair to make sure they are protected from the elements in the following weeks. The llama hair is then sent to a facility (in this case Altifibers) to be sorted by hand depending on its thickness and natural color. The thickness of the hair will be a defining point both for the end use of the fiber in the industry, and its value. The thickness will also dictate the type of yarn that can be created out of the llama hair and the possibilities of mixing it with other fibers, this is the most important technical characteristic of the manufacturing process. The reason behind all of this is that the diameter of the fiber has a direct influence on the softness of the end product. The next step in the manufacturing process is to clean and refine the llama hair. Cleaning takes place in large quantities and with water at high temperatures, the llama hair is washed at least 5 times before continuing its industrial path. The next step is refining the hair, baling, and spinning it into fine yarn to be exported to other continents such as Europe and Asia.