The alpaca is a camelid animal related to the vicuña, llama and guanaco that lives in South America, especially in Peru, which has more than 80% of the world's approximately 4 million alpacas.
Alpacas graze partly wild in the Andes mountains at an altitude of 3,500 to 5,000 meters, raised by tens of thousands of families and bringing them a living. Our yarn producer invests and works together with these small breeders to promote proper breeding and production methods for alpacas.
Alpaca means not only the animal itself, but also its "wool" as a material. Strictly speaking, wool in material classifications means only sheep's wool. Often, however, for the sake of clarity or habit, we talk about alpaca wool.
Alpacas have also been bred in Finland since 2002. Now there are around 1,000-1,500 alpacas, several of which live in small herds as attractions for farm tourism.
In Haanpää's summer cafe , you can meet Bansku and other alpacas. It's worth a visit.
The alpaca survives in the cold conditions of the Andes mountains, where the temperature can vary between +30 and -20 degrees, because the fiber of its hair contains small air bubbles, and thus insulates the heat very well.
Compared to sheep's wool, alpaca is smooth and does not have a scale-like texture. That's why clothes made of alpaca feel smooth and soft in the hand. Alpaca does not contain lanolin (wool fat), which is why it is suitable for many people who are allergic to wool.
Alpacas are collected once a year. The yarn producer and small breeders have combined modern production techniques and traditional methods in an effort to reduce the stress caused by reeling to a minimum. Any kind of cruelty to animals is prohibited. They want to ensure that sustainable farming continues to generate income for the communities that have traditionally cared for alpacas in a harmonious relationship.
After picking, the fibers are sorted according to their thickness and color for further processing.
Alpaca fibers and yarns made from them are divided according to the thickness of the fiber into the following categories
- Royal alpaca max 19.0 micrometers
- Baby alpaca max 22.5 micrometers
- Superfine alpaca max 26.5 micrometers
- Huarizo alpaca max 31.0 micrometers
- Adult alpaca max 34.0 micrometers
Depending on the manufacturer, there are slight differences in the classifications.
Classy's sweaters are made from Baby alpaca. Premium Baby alpaca is also used in the scarves, where the fibers have been selected from the lower limit of the classification, some even from the side of the Royal alpaca classification. You can really see the difference, the premium grade is luxuriously soft.
Can an ordinary, responsible consumer who prefers local food use alpaca chartered from far away in Peru in his clothes?
Yes you can!
Clothes made from the wool of a sheep raised in the local area would perhaps be more recommended, but compared to, for example, a sweater made from merino wool intensively produced in Australia, in China or Bangladesh, products made from the wool of free-ranging alpacas are very responsibly produced - especially when the products are made in Finland or the surrounding area.
Responsible consumption starts with the purchase decision - Do you really need this new garment? Buy less, buy better. Clothes made of alpaca are long-lasting if properly cared for, and the timeless style of Classy products is never out of fashion.
Subscribe to the newsletter and get a 10% discount on your first purchase. In the newsletters, we tell you about new products, campaigns and other nice things. However, we won't bother you too often.