We went to an Alpaca farm close to Christchurch, as I love these beautiful animals. Today there are approximately 5000 alpacas and 270 registered breeders throughout New Zealand.
I sometimes call Alpacas lamas by accident but even though they are related, they are quite different. Lamas have longer ears and a longer face and they are roughly twice as big. They are used as pack animals and also for their meat. Alpaca's are kept for their fiber.
Alpacas are native to South America. They are camelids which means, members of the biological family of camelidae. Other members are Lamas, camels and dromedary
which you can compare with merino wool.
The second type of Alpaca, the Suri is rare. Their fiber is long and silky. 3% of Alpaca are Suri. In NZ however 10% of the Alpaca are Suri
The fiber of the Alpaca is used for jerseys, socks, baby clothing and blankets to name a few. I loved the stuffed animals in the shop and William bought a new jersey. The jersey on the photo is a small cute one for children.