Despite the fact that Peru's Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Peru surprised me again, this time with its excellent textile - Alpaca. Countless of brands have been using alpaca to make clothes, namely Bottega Veneta and 45R.
除了 Machu Picchu 之外，秘魯的時裝也教人大開眼界。感謝秘魯香港領事館的熱情邀請，在上星期能一睹利用羊駝毛（Alpaca）生產的時裝。羊駝毛被人喻為羊毛中的黃金，盛產於秘魯及智利，保暖度是正常羊毛的兩倍，但卻非常透氣。不同時裝品牌也有利用 Alpaca 生產衣物，例如 Bottega Veneta 及 45R。
Peru's signature drink - Pisco sour / 秘魯著名的飲料 Pisco sour。
Alpacas are kept in herds that graze on the level heights of the Andes of southern Peru, northern Bolivia, Ecuador, and northern Chile at an altitude of 3,500 m (11,500 ft) to 5,000 m (16,000 ft) above sea level, throughout the year. Alpacas are considerably smaller than llamas, and unlike llamas, they were not bred to be beasts of burden, but were bred specifically for their fiber. Alpaca fiber is used for making knitted and woven items, similar to wool. These items include blankets, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, a wide variety of textiles and ponchos in South America, and sweaters, socks, coats and bedding in other parts of the world. The fiber comes in more than 52 natural colors as classified in Peru, 12 as classified in Australia and 16 as classified in the United States.
In the textile industry, "alpaca" primarily refers to the hair of Peruvian alpacas, but more broadly it refers to a style of fabric originally made from alpaca hair, but now often made from similar fibers, such as mohair, Icelandic sheep wool, or even high-quality English wool. In trade, distinctions are made between alpacas and the several styles of mohair and luster.
Alpacas have been domesticated for thousands of years. The Moche people of northern Peru often used alpaca images in their art. There are no known wild alpacas, though its closest living relative, the vicuña (also native to South America), are believed to be the wild ancestor of the alpaca. The alpaca is larger than the vicuña, but smaller than the other camelid species.
The price for American alpacas can range from US$50 for a castrated male (gelding) to US$500,000 for the highest of champions in the world, depending on breeding history, sex, and color. According to an academic study, though, the higher prices sought for alpaca breeding stock are largely speculative and not supported by market fundamentals, given the low inherent returns per head from the main end product, alpaca fiber, and prices into the $100s per head rather than $10,000s would be required for a commercially viable fiber production herd. Breeding stock prices in Australia have fallen from A$10,000–30,000 head in 1997 to an average of A$3,000–4,000 today.
There are two amazingly well-designed Peru fashion labels - Vela Vera and Qaytu. Check them out in the following links. I hereby thank you Mr. David Málaga (Peru General Council member in Hong Kong & Macao)'s warm invitation again.
/ Vela Vera