ELUXE MAGAZINE | JUNE 2019

By: Arwa Lodhi

Our Top 5 Baby Alpaca Brands for Any Season

A longtime staple of Andean cultures, the alpaca has been used for its wool for over 6,000 years. And no wonder: alpaca wool is not only soft and warm, it’s naturally anti-bacterial, stain resistant, easy to clean, doesn’t shrink or pill like cashmere or wool, wicks away moisture, is lightweight and resists wrinkling. Unlike wool, it never feels damp or holds a musty smell, and certainly never irritates skin or itches.

In fact, when the Spanish Conquistadores arrived centuries ago in Peru, they found a civilisation that was based on alpaca textiles–the Inca people made everything from clothing to bridges to roofs from super-sturdy alpaca fibres, and they even recorded their wealth in patterns of cloth knots.

However, blinded by gold, silver and precious stones, the Spanish failed to appreciate the true value of the fabric, and in an effort to conquer the alpaca-dependant Inca, they ordered the slaughter of the prized animals. By some accounts, up to 90% of the alpacas in South America were slaughtered and left to rot in the fields– a small number of these animals were saved, but herding and textile making techniques were greatly diminished.

Thankfully today, with a stronger focus on ecological materials and animal kindness, the alpaca has made a huge comeback with conscious fashion brands. Its eco-friendliness, durability, softness and thermal qualities have made it a particular favourite amongst eco-friendly designers, and the docile alpaca is an easy animal to shear, meaning even vegans can wear this wool with peace of mind.

Peruvian Connection

Since 1976, Peruvian Connection has been dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of luxurious textile designs inspired by ancient traditions of the Andes. They offer the world’s most beautiful knitwear, artisan-made in soft alpaca or silky Peruvian pima cotton. There are countless reasons why alpaca fiber is so revered, but here at Peruvian Connection, it’s how the fiber has woven its way into the history of Peruvian culture that makes it so compelling and endearing.

Five times a year, they produce a new and entirely original collection of garments for women and men, including exquisite, one-of-a-kind art knits. Their fashion-forward designs are perfect for women who appreciate luxury and fine craftsmanship.