Where and How to Choose the Best Ones
Living in South America we take for granted little pleasures like having an authentic alpaca blanket. Growing up in an Andean country, I was very acquainted with materials like alpaca and wool. They were plentiful and our artisans created incredible pieces that we were accustomed to wear, enjoy and live with.
Fast-forward…I ended up in the U.S. and realized the incredible value of fibers like alpaca and how much efficient they are. In a sentence, I missed my alpaca blankets (we used to have a closet filled with them.)
Is Alpaca Wool?
Technically no if you are referring to sheep wool. Although similar to sheep wool, alpaca is a different fiber. It is a natural fiber that comes from the alpaca. What is alpaca? It is a very soft to the touch, very durable, and wormer than sheep’s wool fiber.
The main differences between alpaca and sheep’s wool reside in alpaca products not being itchy, water resistant and being hypoallergenic because alpaca doesn’t contain lanolin. This fiber is naturally elastic to a degree because it has natural waves or curls. Have you touched alpaca? It feels luxurious and inviting.
The majority of the alpaca products we know from South America are made in Peru. In Peru the largest number of domesticated animals are llamas and alpacas, and the Amerindians continually use the fibers from these animals to make alpaca blankets and wool garments.
In South America weavers prefer white alpacas because they can take the largest ranges of color dyes. Alpaca fur comes in many shades like true black, brown-black, light yellowish brown, silver-grays, and even rose-grays. Many suits use darker alpaca fibers which increased the demand for the fiber in past years in the U.S.
Alpaca Blankets Are Part of True Hispanic Culture
Here are little facts that bring you closer to your roots:
- The ancient tribes of the highlands of Peru, Chile and Bolivia initially domesticated and bred vicunas into alpacas.
- The Amerindians in Peru used alpaca for thousands of years to make fabrics before the alpaca was introduced in Europe.
- Alpacas are a main part of Andean living because they produce meat and fiber for clothing.
- Alpaca throws and blankets are widespread in Peruvian and Andean societies. They are a must have in cold regions because of their characteristics.
- Geometric designs are very common in traditional alpaca clothing and blankets. The most characteristics are sojta, which is a geometric design that symbolizes the planting cycle, and the potato flower.
- The most traditional alpaca products are Mantos Paracas which have geometric and feline figures, and the Inca and Ayacuchano weaving.
- The majority of the blankets are made in vertical looms and pedal looms, using the same method from 4,000 years ago.
- Find blankets from Ayacucho, Junin, Puno, Cusco, Apurimac y Lima because these towns produce some of the best blankets.
Choose Amongst the Top Quality Alpaca Blankets Made in the Andes
You may very well wait until you take your trip to peru, but it is going to take a while.
Or you maybe choosing from Peruvian companies that you don’t really know only to find that after you pay, you never receive the blanket…
Or you maybe looking for authentic pieces made by Peruvian artisans who don’t guarantee the quality after you receive your blanket. Are you willing to take the risk?
Here are the BEST blankets made by ANDEAN ARTISANS who follow the highest standards of quality with the best policy EVER for you and for the artisan. Go ahead, purchase the best blankets here.