Alpaca fabric is a soft and luxurious natural textile material that is derived from the hairs of the domesticated South American alpaca animal. It is known for its warmth, durability, and hypoallergenic properties, making it a popular choice for clothing and home decor items. Alpaca fibers come in a variety of natural colors, from white to black, and can be spun into yarns or woven into fabrics.


History of Alpaca Fiber

The history of alpaca fiber traces back to the ancient civilizations of the Andes, particularly during the Inca Empire, where alpacas were domesticated for their luxurious fleece. Recognizing the exceptional qualities of alpaca fiber, the Inca civilization utilized it in textiles reserved for nobility and ceremonial purposes. The Spanish conquest introduced sheep and disrupted these traditions, but a 20th-century revival saw renewed interest in traditional Andean textiles, including alpaca. Today, alpaca fabric is globally recognized for its softness, warmth, and hypoallergenic properties, with Peru remaining a significant producer. The fabric's enduring cultural significance and sustainable appeal contribute to its continued popularity in contemporary markets worldwide.



  • Apparel: Alpaca fiber is commonly used to create luxurious and soft clothing items. Alpaca sweaters, scarves, hats, and gloves are popular choices due to the fabric's warmth, lightweight feel, and hypoallergenic properties.
  • Accessories: Alpaca fabric is often used for accessories such as shawls, wraps, and ponchos. These accessories showcase the fabric's natural drape and provide an elegant and stylish complement to various outfits.
  • Home Textiles: Alpaca fabric is employed in the creation of home textiles, including blankets, throws, and pillows. The fabric's softness and thermal-regulating properties make it a cozy addition to home decor.
  • Industrial Fabrics: Alpaca fabric has been used in industrial applications, particularly in the creation of filters and other technical textiles. Its durability and resistance to wear make it suitable for various industrial purposes.
  • Traditional Andean Textiles: In regions with a rich textile tradition, such as the Andes, alpaca fabric continues to be used in the production of traditional garments and textiles, maintaining cultural and artisanal practices.


Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process of alpaca fabric begins with the careful shearing of alpacas, the collecting of their fine fibers, which are then sorted, graded, and cleaned to remove impurities. The fibers undergo carding and optional combing to align and refine them before being spun into yarn. Dyeing is an optional step for adding color. The yarn is woven into the fabric using weaving machines, and the resulting material undergoes finishing treatments to enhance softness and appearance. Throughout the process, quality control measures are implemented to ensure the final alpaca fabric meets the desired standards for texture, durability, and overall quality. This meticulous process, from shearing to finishing, contributes to the creation of a luxurious and high-quality alpaca textile.


Environmental Properties

  • Renewability: Alpaca fibers are a renewable resource as they are harvested through shearing, allowing the animals to regrow their fleece naturally. This sustainable practice supports long-term environmental health.
  • Biodegradability: Alpaca fibers are biodegradable, meaning they break down naturally over time. This characteristic reduces environmental impact, particularly at the end of the product's life cycle, as compared to synthetic materials that can contribute to long-lasting environmental pollution.
  • Low Environmental Impact: Alpacas have a relatively low environmental impact compared to some other livestock. They have soft hooves that are less damaging to pastures, and they can graze on marginal lands that may not be suitable for other forms of agriculture.
  • Dye-Friendly: Alpaca fibers readily accept natural dyes, reducing the reliance on synthetic and potentially harmful chemicals in the dyeing process. This eco-friendly characteristic aligns with sustainable and environmentally conscious textile practices.
  • Carbon Footprint: Alpaca farming, when managed sustainably, can have a lower carbon footprint compared to some other livestock. Additionally, some alpaca farms may implement practices that contribute to carbon sequestration, enhancing their overall environmental impact.


Brands Using Alpaca Fabric

1. Allbirds: Allbirds, celebrated for its unwavering commitment to sustainable fashion, showcases its dedication to eco-conscious practices through the integration of alpaca wool into select products. The brand, known for its innovative approach to footwear and apparel, prioritizes the use of natural and renewable materials, exemplifying a harmonious blend of style and environmental responsibility. By incorporating alpaca wool, Allbirds not only ensures a luxurious and comfortable product but also actively contributes to the promotion of ethical sourcing and sustainable practices in the fashion industry. This strategic alignment underscores the brand's ongoing efforts to redefine the standards of conscientious and stylish consumer choices, fostering a more sustainable future.

2. Everlane: Everlane, founded on the principles of "radical transparency," goes beyond disclosing the cost and production details of its clothing items, extending its commitment to ethical sourcing. The brand responsibly sources alpaca fibers from small farms in Peru, where vendors adhere to a Humane Treatment & Animal Welfare statement and undergo welfare audits to ensure ethical treatment of animals. Everlane is an active member of the Textile Exchange, a global nonprofit guiding companies in sustainable textiles, and participates in the Responsible Alpaca Standard subset, contributing to industry-wide standards for the alpaca wool supply chain. Through these initiatives, Everlane not only exemplifies transparency but actively fosters responsible and humane practices in the fashion industry.


Manufacturers Using Alpaca Fabric

1. Incalpaca: Incalpaca, a wholesale alpaca clothing company, is dedicated to the creation of high-quality products. With over 25 years of experience in the textile industry, it ventured into the retail business in 1987. The inauguration of its first Alpaca 111 store marked a significant milestone, establishing it as the first chain of alpaca products in Peru. Its offerings include luxurious coats, fine alpaca sweaters, and high-quality alpaca scarves, showcasing a commitment to timeless craftsmanship and unparalleled elegance. With a rich legacy and an unwavering dedication to excellence, Incalpaca continues to set new standards in the world of alpaca fashion.

2. Naturtex Peru: Naturtex, based in Lima, Peru, has earned the distinction of being the first Fair Trade-certified organic cotton manufacturer in the Americas. With roots tracing back to the Seventies when anthropologist James Vreeland uncovered ancient natural dyeing practices in Peruvian cotton farming, the company continues to export organic fabrics globally. Beyond its pioneering work in organic cotton, Naturtex is renowned for sustainably sourcing alpaca wool, and collaborating with local farms to uphold ethical standards. This commitment not only enhances the quality of their textiles but also contributes to the preservation of traditional practices and supports local communities. In weaving together Fair Trade principles, cultural preservation, and modern textile innovation, Naturtex stands as a trailblazer in the global textile industry.


News and Updates on Alpaca Fabric

The Most Sustainable Apparel Brands Using Alpaca Fabric

Alpaca wool clothing brands epitomize sustainability, each adopting distinct approaches to minimize environmental footprints and maintain ethical standards. Let's delve into the unique practices of each brand to uncover more about their commitment to a greener and more conscientious fashion industry.

Where Alpaca Can Be Sourced