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Vicuna Vicugna vicugna


The vicuña (Vicugna vicugna, formerly Lama vicugna) is a small, wild camelid, closely related to alpacas, llamas, and guanacos. It is found mainly at high altitudes (10,500 to 17,000 feet) in Peru, Bolivia, northern Chile, and Northwestern Argentina. The vicuna produces a fine, downy fleece that is valuable. The straight, silk-like Wool is very rare. It is generally left undyed in its natural white or cream color due to its sensitivity to chemical treatment. Vicuñas have some of the finest fibers in the world, at a diameter of 12 μm. The fiber of cashmere goats is 14 to 19 μm, while angora rabbit is 8 to 12 μm and that of shahtoosh from the Tibetan antelope, or chiru, is from 9 to 12 μm.[9] Since it is sensitive to chemical treatment, the wool is usually left in its natural color. In Peru, individual animals can only be shorn alive, once every three years. Vicuña is used for coats, suits, and soft shawls.

Synonyms and Related Terms

vicuna;Vicugna vicugna; Lama vicugna; vigogne (Fr.); vicua (Esp.)

Vicua hair fibers

Other Properties

Fiber length = 5 cm (2 inches)


Properties of Natural Fibers

Additional Images

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Marjory L. Joseph, Introductory Textile Science, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Fort Worth, TX, 1986
  • J.Gordon Cook, Handbook of Textile Fibres:I Natural Fibres, Merrow Publishing Co. , Durham, England, 1984
  • Edward Reich, Carlton J. Siegler, Consumer Goods: How to Know and Use Them, American Book Company, New York City, 1937
  • Rosalie Rosso King, Textile Identification, Conservation, and Preservation, Noyes Publications, Park Ridge, NJ, 1985
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998