About Suri Alpacas
Alpacas are members of the camelid family. Other members of the camelid family include camels, llamas, vicunas, and guanacos. Camelids are herbivores and rather than hooves, camelids have two toes on padded feet. Their impact upon the land is less than that of their fellow hoofed livestock.
Alpacas have been bred in South America for thousands of years, being raised primarily in Peru, as well as Chile and Bolivia. They are adapted to steep and rocky terrain and harsh climates and were imported to the United States. In 1998, in order to protect the interests of the North American breeders and improve the North American herd, the US-based alpaca registry closed registration to alpacas imported from South America.
There are two types of alpacas, the Huacaya and the Suri. The difference between the two is their fleece type and resulting appearance. The fleece of a Huacaya alpaca is soft and spongy with natural crimp. The fleece produces an elastic yarn well-suited for knitting. Suri alpaca fleece is long and silky with far less crimp and is therefore a good fit for woven products. The designer Armani has used Suri alpaca fleece for men’s and women’s suits. Alpaca fiber is eco-friendly, naturally water-repellent, durable, warmer than wool, and has no lanolin.
Suri alpacas are far more rare, both worldwide and in North America, than the Huacaya. In North America, Suri alpacas account for 17% of the alpaca population. Such rarity results in a higher monetary value for the Suri alpaca. Additionally, the fewer breeders involved in the raising of Suri alpacas promotes an efficient process for establishing breed standards and ensuring progress in moving the breed forward. Please contact us to set up a time to come by and check out these amazing creatures!