Alpaca is a special fiber for a multitude of reasons. It is durable, diverse in natural color, soft, silky and it offers luxury without the upscale price of cashmere. But let’s face it, although these attributes make alpaca highly desirable by those who appreciate fine fashion, the thing that truly makes alpaca special is missed by many: it’s magic.
Alpaca is a magical fiber because it consumes the energy of the ancient lands from which it’s cultivated. Alpaca only comes from two countries, Bolivia and Peru. It’s produced on family farms that have been working the land and raising alpaca for hundreds of years, where the fibers are ethically cultivated through green sustainable living. Authentic alpaca sweater retailers like Invisible World travel to these countries to source the designs and develop new products, forming relationships with suppliers who have worked in the alpaca business for generations.
So where is the magic? It lives in the fibers, harvesting process and history surrounding the silky material. Alpaca comes from the New World branch of the camel’s family tree and lives at high altitudes in the Andes Mountains where locals still believe they are surrounded by the apus, the ancient spirits of the mountains. This place is wild and mysterious, but the gentle alpaca is anything but. These noble creatures carry themselves with majestic grace after having been bred for more than 2000 years from their smaller cousin the vicuña. From the days of Paleoindian fishing colonies, to the turbulent times when the Inca rulers of Tahuantinsuyu struggled against the Conquistadors, the alpaca were the silent witnesses to both the human and spirit world around them, and with gratitude they gave up their fibers. Alpaca are cryptic, mystifying creatures that walk the line between the human and spirit worlds veiled in a light of love and wisdom.
During the Inca Empire from 1200 AD to 1532 AD, alpaca fibers were only worn by members of the royal family and woven into tight rectangles of vibrantly colored cloth that was wrapped and draped around the body. It was exclusive and its magic was reserved for only the highest echelon of society.
Today, alpaca still maintains that aura of royalty, but is worn by men and women of many backgrounds all over the world. From the fashion runways of Gucci to college campuses, and from the fashion-conscious souls of Los Angeles to the mountain communities of Colorado, men’s alpaca sweaters and alpaca apparel for women is worn by those who appreciate the soft, silky fibers and who continue the spiritual journey of the animal and the spiritual lands of Bolivia and Peru.
Alpaca is a special fiber because its look and texture goes with most dress styles. Whether you are wearing an alpaca sweater with a pair of jeans to hit up a local farmer’s market,or are sporting a stylish alpaca cardigan with dress pants for a night out at the philharmonic, alpaca sweaters will blend right in and magnify your style. Alpaca can be lightweight solid colored attire with delicate hand embroidery or chunky handknits that reflect the ancient artisanal talent that alpaca has always attracted. Sweater retailers also sell alpaca made into felt slippers, colorful caps, flowing scarves and other popular accessories such as fingerless gloves or cozy warm socks. Alpaca never gets old. It cruises from century to century, always changing and always maintaining its mystique and its ethereal beauty.
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