A to Z Challenge, Day 12:  L Is For Llama

Yum.  Llama fiber.  Soft, warm, and easy to knit.  I prefer alpaca because there’s a wider range of colors and alpaca are more friendly, but I can’t deny the gorgeous sheen of the fibers of llama.  Vicuña is a related fiber that’s quite luxurious but harder to find because the vicuña are very shy and much harder to cultivate than either llama or alpaca.

Think that alpaca is only the purview of knitters and other textile artists?  The famous designer Loro Piana cornered the market on the stuff in 2010 and last year announced a 60% stake in an alpaca ranch.  I’ve seen quotes of the alpaca fiber suits of his that go for $20,000 USD.  No, that’s not a typo.  $20k.  That’s enough for a down payment on a house.  Yikes.

Why is the fiber so desirable?  It’s lighter than wool and warmer.  The natural colors are quite wide and alpaca has the only naturally-occurring black animal fiber – black sheep are actually only black on the tips of the fiber, not at the root.

I could go on, but I won’t bore you with fibernautics.  But I will ask you this:

What’s your favorite fiber to wear?  Wool? Cotton? Fur?  Microfiber?  

7 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge, Day 12: L Is For Llama

  1. Yikes! 20k is a chunk of change. I don’t think I could bring myself to spend it on a suit, even if I did have it. My husband’s aunt had a llama farm for a while. You’d think more people would raise them…that’s some good cash!

    1. I know, right? If I had the room, I’d get a couple, but I live in Chicago, as in, right in the city. I’m an aggressive gardener and have a 50 sq ft raised bed that I built, but I think an alpaca would find it cramped. ~grin~ Someday.

  2. cleemckenzie says:

    I can’t say it’s my favorite, but when I want to be warm I wear the sweater I bought in New Zealand. It’s made out of weasel and it’s the warmest thing I own. I guess my favorite would be cashmere. So lovely.

    1. WEASEL?? I’ve never heard of that! Wow. A new-to-me fiber. Awesome. 🙂 I love cashmere, it’s gorgeous.

  3. I love them. My dad is a hiker and in some spots you can rent them as pack animals. That would certainly add to the experience!

    1. That would be fun! I wonder if I can put them in my back yard. 🙂

  4. Fascinating information! So the “black sheep of the family” fits in if he gets a trim. ~grin~ I really loved sueded silk in the nineties. I’m not much of a clothes shopper but never run across that material these days. Now I’ll have to see if it’s still actually in style somewhere as the material felt warmer than regular silk but still light, breathable, and washed well.

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