The outer coat is very rough, with a scratchy feel, and is used for ropes and rugs. This is the difference between an alpaca and a llama, both members of the camelid family. There are two breeds of alpaca, Suri and Huacaya. They’re still in and around Machu Picchu today! Much appreciated. Face: The face of an alpaca is a lot fuzzier and woollier than a llamas face which doesn't have so much hair. The highest quality and cleanest alpaca fleece sells for about $3 to $5.00 per ounce (oz.). It is a hollow fiber so it is warmer than wool of a similar weight. Where can we look? They live in Peru, Chile, Patagonia in Argentina, and parts of Paraguay. The four-category llamas are (1) Ccara or Classic llamas with short fibers that shed; Curaca llamas with fibers of medium length; Tapada/ Lanuda llamas with non-shedding fibers; Suri llamas with non-shedding, long-hanging, entwined fibers resembling dreadlocks. I enjoy learning and helping others discover the joys of working with yarn. Alpaca have short ears, shaped like spears, with a point at the top. Next, I’ve listed the differences, tips to identify them, and fun facts. You may have heard about alpaca wool, which is much softer than a llama's double-layered, coarse outer coat over a softer inner coat. The website http://www.howmuchisit.org prices sheep fleece at $2 to $3.00 per oz. Llamas have short, coarse hair, which is double-coated. Hi. The wool from the first shearing of this animal, in the first 2 years if its life, is called “baby alpaca” and is a super-fine, super-soft fiber which can be … Sheep-rearing moved westward from the North American East Coast in the early 19th century. The rough outer coat is used for lead ropes, rugs and wall hangings. Most are the second variety. Answer: You can do a number of things to sell your alpaca wool: 1. Llamas’ hair is coarser, and their wool is considered inferior, but llama breeders are working to create a llama breed with finer, softer hair. The benefits of alpaca are limitless, but let’s explore the primary advantages of wearing alpaca rather than wool for … At first, these south american animals from the camel family may look indistinguishable, as llamas and alpacas have a lot in common. Unlike sheep’s wool, alpaca fiber lanolin-free and therefore hypoallergenic, and it is not at all itchy to the touch. Llama and Alpacas are from the Andes Mountains, in central and South America. Let’s examine the similarities between an alpaca vs llamas. Humans usually use llamas as pack animals, since they can carry a generous amount of weight. Yes they have such gorgeous faces. The hair grows toward the ground. Selective breeding resulted in the alpaca. There are two different breeds of alpaca used for wool: the Suri and the Huacaya. ), Argentina, and the United States (California, Wyoming, and Texas- top states) follow. Question: What is the wool of a llama called? Typical llama fiber is comparable to sheep’s wool in terms of weight and texture. And as worldwide appetites continue to grow, North America continues to deliver superior alpaca fibers and products. Notnoisy, CC-BY-SA 3.0, wikimedia commons. One exception is baby llama fiber which can be very Or have a question? Llamas did not fare well with the Spanish colonists either, but their decline came a bit later in the 11th to the 13th centuries. Fleece from their underbelly is unusable .The rest of it has to be skirted (removing debris or dirty, contaminated, and low grade parts of the fleece from the more valuable whole). Leave a comment at the end. The fiber of alpacas and llamas is considered to be luxury fiber, in the league of cashmere and angora. Create a website/ online store. They’re also quite heavy, able to reach up to 400 pounds. I unfortunately accidentally washed my knitted scarf made with baby alpaca wool in the washing machine. If you have any other llama facts for kids or alpaca facts for kids, please leave them in the comments below. It scorches easily; is prone to discoloration; will shrink in water; contains lanolin and therefore must be processed and usually with harsh chemicals. Another difference is that even if they’re smaller, alpacas produce more fibers than llamas. The actual softness has to do with the fiber structure of llama hair, which is just not as smooth for llamas as for alpaca wool. They were selectively bred to produce strong, large animals for packing (carrying load during travel), hence the notable size difference between them and the alpacas. Fibers on their neck, underbelly, and legs are a bit coarser and of varying length. Alpacas have padded feet, unlike cows who have hoofed feet. Fibers are easily damaged by alkaline substances and sunlight. Peru, Bolivia, and Chile have the largest number of Alpacas. The finest quality Suri alpaca fibers are used by top fashion designers such as Armani in manufacturing clothing for both women and men. The wool industry did not begin there until the import of the highly-prized Spanish Merino breed, courtesy of one Captain John Macarthur of the British Army. Sheep arrived in England and Spain with Roman conquerors in 50 AD. Yes, because Llamas have an innate desire to protect and exert their dominance. The cloth can then be crafted into clothing outfits. 3. Though they look plump and rounded, it’s their hair. The animal is domesticated, and bred for its wool. Just because it is a llama doesn’t mean it packs and just because it is an alpaca, doesn’t mean it has great fiber. Very intelligent, some people teach them to do tricks, like a dog! The llama (/ ˈ l ɑː m ə /; Spanish pronunciation: ) (Lama glama) is a domesticated South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since the Pre-Columbian era.. Llamas are very social animals and live with others as a herd.Their wool is very soft and lanolin-free.Llamas can learn simple tasks after a few repetitions. On the other hand, llamas have less fur on the face and longer snouts. For example, (1) Long-Wool sheep: Leicester -found in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and North America; Lincoln –found in Australia, N.Z., North and South America; and Cotswold –found in England and United States (U.S.). An alpaca is social. Alpaca wool is available in more than 22 natural and beautiful colors, from ivory white until black and every shade of brown. The Llama vs. the Alpaca. Alpaca is the humane, loving choice of the Animal Kingdom when comparing alpaca fiber vs sheep wool fiber … The quality, degree of softness, and strength of alpaca fleece depends on fiber diameter and density. It’s known for its exceptional softness, warmth, moisture-wicking breathability and naturally hypoallergenic, flame-retardant properties. The Huacaya Alpaca fiber is crimpy, warm, elastic, and hypoallergic. But they’re different creatures. They have long, skinny necks, big bodies, and a small gray long face with pointy banana shaped ears. It depends on the individual animal, but alpacas are generally friendlier. • Llamas live longer than alpacas do. Derived from three different lineages of the wild mouflon, sheep were originally developed for meat, milk, and skin. Soft and docile, there are no wild alpacas now. It’s used for knitting and crochet. Soft to touch, that’s why it’s sought after for knits. Poachers heavily hunted them. Alpaca fibre also has the advantage of being more ecologically sustainable when compared to cashmere: Not only does an Alpaca consume less water than a goat, it produces enough wool for four to five sweaters per year. Alpaca ears are short and shaped like spears. Fun Fact: The scientific name of Alpacas is ‘Vicugna pacos.’ ‘Vicugna’ sounds like ‘vicuna,’ and vice-versa. Both animals don’t have top front teeth. Diameter is measured in microns, with the softest fibers having a range of thickness from 10 to 22 microns. The llama, however, has a coarser outer coat and a finer undercoat, which is the part used for spinning yarn. A big lesson learnt. On average, in a year, an alpaca can produce 50 to 90 ounces of high-quality fiber and between 50 and 100 ounces of low to mid-quality fiber. Despite being native to South America, there are about 300,000 of Alpacas and llamas in the United States. Learn how your comment data is processed. (Yes, I’m a real person :) ) Thanks for being here. I love knitting and have met so many other fabulous knitters through this site. The average llama can carry a load of 45 to 60 kg (99 to 132 pounds) for up to 30 km (18.6 miles) each day. Alpacas, however, cannot protect themselves. Their fur comes in a wide range of sizes, shades and colors, from white to an almost jet black. Other types of products made with alpaca fleece ranging from the softest to the coarsest are sweaters, vests, scarves, hats, socks, gloves, and other winter garments and accessories, blankets (outdoor and saddle included), pillows, and rugs. The llama is also a native of the AndesMountains and has been domesticated for as long as the Alpaca. Geez they look so similar but now thanks to your helpful post, I can spot the differences. Many people have businesses where they have hand made products from Alpaca and Llama wool. It’s easier for the farmer to collect fertilizer. An alpaca tends to be very skittish and timid, but gentle. Sheep scales are still tougher. Natural wool colors are not as extensive and so the fibers are dyed. Beverley Byer (author) from United States of America on May 22, 2015: Thanks for your comment. Cusco in particular has a large population of these creatures. Alpacas are shy, timid, and more likely to ‘fly’ than ‘fight’ if provoked or threatened. They’re in the same family but all different. This fiber is excellent for alpaca garments like shawls, hats and socks. The herd all place their poop in one spot. 4. After vicuñas, llama fiber is precious. This post contains affiliate links. First thought to be domesticated in ancient times by the Inca Empire, Machu Picchu was a hive of activity for breeding and rearing these creatures. A micron, by the way, is a unit of length that is one thousandth of a millimeter or one millionth of a meter. I’m Jodie Morgan, owner and creator of Knit Like Granny. They have a lot of power, and can travel far with a heavy load without needing much water. So what is your alpaca vs llama conclusion? Alpacas have excellent bathroom etiquette. (3) Fine-Wool sheep: Merino –found in Spain (native land), North and South America, and Australia; and Rambouillet –found in France and U.S. But even those so-called coarse guard hairs are on the softer side when compared with the guard hairs or scales of the sheep. Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Disclosure | Disclaimer | Cookie Policy. Learn More. This material comes from the alpaca , which boasts an extraordinarily fluffy, dense, strong coat. Llamas are pack animals. The three-category type llamas are Light-Wooled with smoothed heads, ears, and legs; Medium-Wooled with some fiber on their bodies and smoothed heads, ears, and legs; Heavy-Wooled with enormous amount of fibers on their entire bodies. You may also hear or see the terms Baby Alpaca, which refers to the very first fiber sheared from an adult animal. Suri hair is long, straight, and tassel-like, a bit like dreadlocks. Her work has been published in magazines and newspapers. 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