A silky wool obtained from a domesticated llama (Lama pacos) found mainly at high altitudes in Bolivia and Peru. Two breeds of alpaca, the huacaya and the suri, were developed in pre-Columbian times. The wool of the suri is fine and silky while the wool of the huacaya is shorter and slightly coarser. The straight, silk-like wool grows about 8 inches annually and will touch the ground if the animal is not sheared. Alpaca wool is lightweight, strong, lustrous, and can be white, light brown, or black. Because it is high in insulation value and resistant to rain and snow, alpaca is used in parkas, sleeping bags, and coat linings. The fibers are used alone or blended with cotton, polyester, or sheep's wool to make dress fabrics and suit fabrics. Imitation alpaca fabric is made of cotton, rayon, or acetate yarns interwoven with a mohair filling.
Synonyms and Related Terms
Lama pacos; Alpaka (Deut., Pol.); alpaca (Esp., It., Ned., Port.); alpaga (Fr.); Luster (Ned); huacaya; suri;
Fiber length = 8 cm (undercoat)
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