Alpacas are originally from South America from Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. Recently, more and more people in the United States have begun raising and breeding them. 5R Alpacas is just one of a huge community of alpaca farms.
There are two types of alpacas in the United States today. Although almost physically identical, what distinguishes the two types is their fiber. The Huacaya (wa-Ki'-ah) is the more common of the two and has a fluffy, extremely fine coat. The Suri (SUR-ee) is the rarer of the two and has fiber that is silky and resembles pencil-locks.
Alpacas, which belong to the same family as llamas and camels, originally came to the United States in 1984. Since then, people all over the country have become enamored with them. Their fiber is incredibly warm and soft. Containing no lanolin, alpaca fiber is also naturally hypoallergenic. Most people who are sensitive to wool find that they can wear alpaca without the itching or irritation.
Did you know that alpacas:
Eat hay, grass and grain, just like horses
Can weigh between 125 and 200 pounds, like big dogs
Are very friendly - they don't bite or butt
Talk to each other by humming
Might spit at each other but rarely spit at people
Typically live for about 20 years
Call now to find out more about our alpaca farm.
• weigh about 150 lb (70 kg)
• have luxurious fiber
• Have shorter spear-shaped ears
• Average of 35" at the shoulders
• are gentle and timid
• can learn tricks
• need protection
• weigh about 400 lb (180 kg)
• have course fiber
• Have banana shaped ears
• Average of 44" at the shoulder
• are very brave
• can carry heavy packs
• provide protection
It's a misconception that shearing animals like sheep and alpacas is harmful to them or that we're "stealing" their fur. Actually, domestic alpacas need to be shorn once every year. This keeps them from overheating or becoming uncomfortable.
Alpacas generate five to eight pounds of fiber each year. We take it and spin it into yarn to make sweaters, hats and scarves. The fiber comes in natural colors including pure white, fawn, black, brown and gray. This fiber can also be dyed.
Check out our online shop to purchase handmade alpaca products.
• Warmer than wool. Alpaca fiber is very fine. This makes each fiber lighter and, because of the trapped air between each fiber, a great insulator. Due to its breathability, all-season comfort is possible because alpaca clothing shields you from warm and cool temperatures.
• Soft as cashmere. No kidding.
• Hypoallergenic. Those who are allergic to wool may not have such problems with alpaca. It contains no lanolin.
• Moisture wicking. Because of its low absorbency rate, alpaca fiber draws moisture away so it can evaporate gradually keeping your body dry and warm.
• Durable. It is resistant to piling and the fiber retains its shape over time.
• Flame resistant. It is also marginally flame retardant, which means it will self-extinguish.