Alpacas are members of the Camelid family- the same family as the Camels found in the Middle East. But the Camelid family in South America has 4 species, 2 types of Alpaca, the Llama, Guanaco and Vicuña. 

Huacaya Alpaca
Image by Nathalia Segato

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Huacaya alpaca is the most common. Their fleece grows perpendicular to their body giving them the fluffy look. Huacaya alpaca is crimpy and soft. To us, Huacaya has a warm, soft feel.

Suri Alpaca
Image by Ashim D’Silva

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Suri is more rare, consisting of about 10% of Alpaca in the USA. Their fleece grows parallel to their body in what some people call a dreadlock look. The suri have a silky sheen to their fleece. 

Image by Ron Whitaker

Photo courtesy of Ron Witaker  via

The Llama are 2 times the size of an Alpaca standing 40–45 inches at the withers and 5.5 feet and larger at the head. They can weigh between 280 and 450 pounds and the average lifespan is 15 to 30 years.


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The Guanaco are native to South America and are 3.5 and 4 feet at the withers and about 200 lbs. 

Their fiber is particularly prized for its soft, warm feel and is found in luxury fabric. It  is valued second only to that of the Vicuña.

The Vicuña
Vicunas are generally living as a herd b

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The Vicuña is the smallest member of the Camelid family, It is thought to be the wild ancestor of the alpaca. The Vicuña is a rare wild animal which sports hair less than half the diameter of the finest sheep's wool.
Because its wool is hollow core fiber, vicuna wool is finer than any other wool. That means that the wool is softer, lighter and warmer than any other wool on this earth.