Alpacas may just be the cutest of all the Camelidae family, which includes llamas, guanacos and vicunas from South America, and Bactrian and Dromedary camels from Asia and Africa. With their floppy furry tufts, slender necks, ingénue eyes and coy Clara Bow grins, they are the “it” girls and boys of the ungulate world.
But beyond their charming, quirky good looks, these creatures are responsible for bearing some of the silkiest, most versatile fiber found in nature, for which they are shorn annually. Alpaca is a specialty fiber that has been described as stronger than mohair, finer than cashmere, smoother than silk, softer than cotton, warmer than goose down, and better-breathing than thermal knits. Along with that, alpacas themselves possess some pretty remarkable personality traits.
This Sept. 29-30 is National Alpaca Farm Day (well, weekend, really), so in honor of all things Vicugna pacos, we're filling you in on everything you never knew about these captivating camelids.