A camelid indigenous to Peru with a fleece that is woven into what the Incas referred to as “the fabric of the gods”.

Vicuñas are the smallest of camelids and live in the wild in small family groups, high in the Andes, sleeping in the hills and grazing on the lower plains. With protection from the World Wildlife Foundation since the 1990’s, their plundered stocks have regenerated and the wild herds are once again being sheared. Each fleece yields only around 400 gms

The fleece consists of a double coat – the coarser guard hair and the coveted under fleece–a honey coloured down that has developed to keep the warmth in and the driving wind and snow out.

The most valuable fabric in the world–softer, lighter and warmer than any other, commanding prices three times as high as cashmere; only the best mills in the world are capable of working the gossamer fibre. vicuña fabric looks like fine wool and feels like silky mohair, making it suitable for clothing and for blankets, rugs, wall hangings.

Camelid fibre is not technically wool, it is a hollow fibre with a series of diagonal walls in the centre of the structure which makes it strong and insulating.

Lora Piana, Dormeuil, Holland and Sherry sell clothing and scarves with vicuna and vicuna silk mixes.Vicuña-silk mixed shawls make wonderful bed-throws, and with a lucky charity shop find you can recycle vicuña coats and scarves into cushions.

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