ANDINA - Cashmere of the Andes


About the fiber
 

the fiber  vicuna

Vicuña is the finest, softest and most exclusive natural fiber in the world, considerably finer, silky and lighter than Cashmere or Angora.

It has an average diameter of 12 Microns (One Micron equals One million of a Meter), against 15 of Cashmere. The fleece of the Vicuña is formed with two layers to protect it from the cold climate of the high altitude Andes. The under-fleece is made of soft and dense packed fibers that act as an insulator, while the outer-fleece is made of long and silky fibers. The Vicuña fiber varies in shades from golden brown to dark fawn and wheat.

Some amazing properties of the Vicuña fiber are the extreme lightness, softness and warmth. The amount of land that a Vicuña needs in order to survive is one hectare approximately 2.47 acres.

Adult animals provide 250 grams of fleece every two years, but after shearing and dehairing the coarsest outer fibers; this amount is reduced to 120 grams. To give you an idea, the fleece of 25-30 Vicuñas are need it to produce an overcoat, the fleece of 6 to make a sweater and the fleece of more than one animals shearing to make a scarf. The garment made from Vicuña has an extraordinary value which is increased further by the traditional methods for processing the fiber handed down over the centuries from the ancient Peruvians. Hence its exclusivity and limited availability of this product on the market.

The Vicuña, an elegant animal living at 5000 meters/ 15,000 feet above sea level in the highlands of South American Andes. The Vicuña is shorn every two years to produce an unsurpassed soft and light fiber. The ancient Incas considered the Vicuña a sacred animal. The Chaccu is a traditional ceremony handed down from the Incas. Every four years the Inca King would order the Chaccu, the rounding up of the Vicuña to be sheared and then released unharmed. Only the Inca royalty, the elite, wore the golden fleece produced from the Vicuña. Steeped in tradition the Chaccu continues today in the Andean communities monitored by strict guidelines of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species . The Vicuña population has now significantly increased to more than 160,000 animals, living protected in national reserves. This is why every Vicuña item you purchase from AlpaLuxe comes to you with its own individually signed and registered certificate of authenticity from Peru, adding to its exclusivity.
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