Interesting Facts About Alpacas
Alpacas belong to the family of Camelids which inludes Bactrian and Dromedary camels from Africa and Asia and Llamas, Vicunas and Guanacos from South America. They are about half the size of Llamas growing to 32 to 39 inches tall at the shoulders (withers) and weighing between 105 and 185 lb at maturity.
There are two types of Alpacas: Huacaya have short and dense fluffy fur and look wooly like sheep, while the Suri have fiber that resembles long and silky dreadlocks.
Alpaca wool is a soft, luxurious fabric that provides great insulation, keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer. It contains microscopic air pockets which while providing insulation also helps to reduce the weight of the Alpaca wool fibers while providing enormous strength and durability. Alpaca fiber does not have lanolin and therefore it is hypoallergenic. It can be processed at lower temperatures and without the use of chemicals.
Alpacas are herbivores and eat grass and flowers and they snip off the top of the grass unlike other herbivores that pull the grass by the roots when feeding. They have soft pads on their feet, which do not tear up the ground like cows' or horses' hooves.
Alpacas tend to "poop" in the same place and if there are more than one, they all go to the same spot to relieve themselves. Their droppings look like beans and make very good fertilizer.
Alpacas use their tails to show their feelings. A tail twitching back and forth signifies distress while a tail raised over the body signifies submissiveness.
The Andean natives make a lot of clothing products using Alpaca wool. Here is a list of products and accessories made from Alpaca Wool:
2. Jackets, Coats, Ponchos
3. Wall Hangings
4. Cardigans, Sweaters, Vests, Pullovers
6. Window coverings
8. Hats and Beanies.
11. Scarves, Shawls, Capes
12. Alpaca Tea (fertilizer)