Christmas encounter with alpacas

“Come touch these!” I called over to my friends at the Christmas market booth. I thought I found the softest fur I ever touched.

“They’re from alpacas.” The shopkeeper walked over and I shyly drew back my hand, but he smiled and continued. “The special thing about alpaca, is that each strand of fur is a hollow tube. It’s not a twisted fiber like sheep’s wool, so there are no rough edges.”

Alpacas and scarves made from alpaca fiber. Photo by Maki Sumitani.

Alpacas are animals in the same family as llamas and camels. They have very long and full fur, so their annual haircut gives us alpaca fleece that can be used to make scarves, hats, socks, and incredibly soft stuffed animals like the ones I encountered at the market. Continue reading

December 31, 2014Permalink Leave a comment