Surilox Alpacas

Alpacas

Alpacas are native to the South American continent. They are found predominantly in Peru, Chile and southern Bolivia, and are one of the 4 South American Camelids.

All of the South American Camelids can be found in the wild. Llama were domesticated and were used as pack animals. The Alpaca were domesticated and used as fleece animals. The Guanaco and Vicuna are found in the wild. Of these 4 Camelids only the Vicuna cannot be domesticated, having a wild and untameable nature.4 types of Camelid

They were kept for their fleece and not as a source of food. The Inca, Moche and Quechua and pre-Inca believed that when a person died their soul was reborn into the next newborn alpaca. So a herd of Alpaca would be made up of the souls of friends and relatives. To eat an alpaca would have been an abomination.
Australia has the largest Alpaca herd in the world outside of South America. According to the United Nations Australia is on the brink of becoming the largest producer of commercial grade fleece in the world.
Alpacas are ideally suited to the Australian environment. They are extremely light on the land. According to the CSIRO Alpacas do less damage to the environment and soils than kangaroos.

Alpacas are artiodactyl – they have soft padded feet with 2 toes that have long toe nails. They impact very lightly on Australia’s fragile friable soils. Additionally alpacas do not tend to graze down to the roots of pasture grasses, so they do not denude pasturelands. They eat both introduced and native grasses, and browse many different bush and tree leaves. Alpacas like eucalypts, wattles, river oak and will happily munch on the leaves when they can get them.
They have a high mineral requirement and should be supplemented on a regular basis.

Types of Alpaca

Alpacas come in 2 different types: Suri and Huacaya. The fleece is known as “Fibre of the Gods.”

The Suri has fleece that falls in soft, silky ringlets, and they make up around 5-8% of the world’s alpaca herd. Suri alpaca fleece is the elite of the elite fleece. It is highly soft and lustrous, and can be compared to silk. The Inca reserved it for use by the Royal family alone, and the Inca probably used it as a form of currency. Today Suri fleece is used by designers such as Armani and Versace for high end suiting material.

The Huacaya has crimped fleece, much like an merino sheep but so much softer! It is used for all manner of woven, knitted and felted goods.

The fleece is widely acknowledged as one of the most luxurious natural fibres. The fibre is resilient, soft, warm and extremely light weight.