Peru is on my bucket list for so many reasons and one day I hope to get there. The culture, the food, the people, this country offers so much to the world. But do you ever consider Peru as an important contributor to the fashion industry?
In fact, revered by the Incas as the fibre of the gods, alpaca fleece has a noble background. Over its 3000 year history, it was members of the Incan royalty that were originally permitted to wear clothing from alpaca. This incredibly soft fleece is native to the Andes in South America and a cousin of the llama found primarily in Peru.
- Alpaca wool is hypoallergenic and doesn’t create static electricity.
- Compared to sheep’s wool, it’s three times stronger and seven times warmer.
- It was once known for its use in local crafts, ponchos and rugs.
- Fashion houses like Cacharel, Kenzo and rag& bone have used alpaca in their collections!
You may have also heard of Pima cotton? Hand-picked in the Piura and Chira coastal valleys in northern Peru, Pima cotton is also affectionately known as Peruvian “silk” for its high-quality and pure harvest. Found along the Andean Cordillera chin of mountain ranges, and part of the Amazon rainforest, the valleys offer idyllic conditions to grow superior cotton.
- Pima cotton cannot tolerate chemicals, which makes it hypoallergenic and great for sensitive skin!
- Pima cotton is strong! It can absorb up to 8.5% of its weight in water, which makes it breathable.
- Pima is used in many high end products including clothes, bedding and linens.
- It’s called Pima because Peruvian cotton was introduced to the United States and grown by the Pima Indians in the southwestern parts of the country.
One day. I’ll get there.