March 17, 2017 3 min read
When considering the material for our daph. products, we knew we wanted to use native Peruvian fibers because of their high quality and unique appearance. Peru has many different types of fibers that come from the camelid family, some are finer than others but all are durable and polished.
During our trips to Peru we interacted with many different types of camelids that we wanted to teach you a little bit more about.
The vicuna, the most beautiful South American camelid, is known for its chestnut colored hues, slender and elegant presence. Vicunas live in the wild of the Andean plateaus and are protected by the neighboring community of shepherds and farmers.
Because of their fine fiber, known for its resistance, elasticity and extremely thermal qualities, the vicuna was at the verge of extinction due to savage hunting. Fortunately, thanks to the Peruvian wildlife protection agency more than half of the population has been recovered.
The fiber is obtained using an ancestral method, Chaccu, which does not harm or compromise the vicuna’s wild state.
In the past the vicuna was used to create garments for kings and emperors from the Andean world. The alpaca, from which daph. products are made from, is a close descendent.
The Alpaca is known for its robust and tall, slender figure of 1.55-1.65 meters tall. The majority of the Alpaca population is in Peru, about 3.5 million. Their fleece is soft and can be crimped or straight with a length of up to 7 centimeters. To ensure constant growth and maintained health of the alpacas, alpaca fur is only collected every three years using a shaving technique that is not harmful to the alpaca or their fur growth. The Alpaca’s fur can come in up to 22 shades, ranging from sheer white to the darkest of blacks and including greys and browns. Besides its extreme softness, the fur has thermal properties, high elasticity and great resistance.
The most well known of the camelids is the llama, that greatly contributed to the growth of the Andean culture serving as a means of transportation, offering meat as a food source and using the fur and skin for making ropes, sacks, blankets and fine garments.
There are 2.5 million llamas in the world today with 900,000 in Peru. In some areas in Peru the llama is still used to help with transportation of goods and their fiber is used in an artisanal fashion.
With a similar figure and height to that of the Llama, the Guanaco can range in height from 1.5-2 meters. It can be found in varying environments such as the sea shore, the Andean crest or the mountains near the Southern part of Peru, specifically the Tierra de Fuego (Fire Land). Currently, there are only 500,000 Guanacos worldwide that are protected by international regulations, there are only 3,500 in all of Peru.
The Guanaco creates a beautiful light cinnamon colored fiber which is very smooth and fine and can be found on many current day fashion pieces. Careful to get too close, these guys spit!
daph. manufacturers will be using the alpaca fur for their winter collection, be on the lookout for clutches, slippers and comfy, warm socks. Any suggestions about other products you’d like to see, please let us know!
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