Sunline Alpacas

Alpaca Info

Alpacas are a smaller cousin of llamas and members of the camelid family. Originating in the Andes Mountains of South America, alpacas were revered by the Incas. The much sort after fleece was known as 'The Fibre of the Gods', and reserved for Incan Royalty.

Alpacas were first imported to Australia in 1989. The alpaca is a hardy beast, adapting well to the Australian climate. The Australian alpaca herd was estimated to number over 40000 animals in 2001. The average alpaca has a life span of 15 to 20 years. Growing up to 1 meter tall at the shoulder, and weighing between 45 and 75 kilos.

suri alpaca

There are two different types of alpaca, the huacaya and the suri. The fibre of the suri (pictured left) is unique among the camelid family. The long and silky fleece grows parallel to the body. Hanging down in distinctive pencil locks, which look much like dreadlocks. Suris are quite rare, representing about 10% of total alpaca numbers.

huacaya alpacaThe huacaya alpaca (pronounced wua'ki'ya) (pictured right) is the more common of the two breeds. It has a more dense fibre, giving the animal the well-known cuddly appearance. Much like the fleece of the Merino, huacaya fleece grows straight out from the body.

The soft handle and lustre of alpaca fibre, allows it to be classed as a luxury fibre. Alpaca fibre comes in 22 natural colours, from white through to black. It is strong, light weight, warm, non allergenic and resists pilling. Alpaca fibre is one of the highest quality natural fibres available, making it a much sought after product. With quality alpaca fibre is in high demand internationally, the growing Australian fibre industry is well placed to capitalise on this demand.

For more information download one of the info sheets below.




Body Condition


Herd Protectors