Suri alpacas could be key in starting a booming natural fiber industry in New Zealand. These animals produce a rare fiber which does not need to be dyed. They are unlike their woolly counterparts, the more common alpaca, which has a sheep-like coat. The fiber is soft and is one of the rarest specialist fibers. It comes in 21 colors from shades of white to fawn.
There is expected to be a rise in demand for alpaca in the high-end fashion industry as people move away from synthetic fibers. Peru, the world's top alpaca fiber producer, supplies to international markets, mainly to Asia, the United States and Europe.
Peru currently holds 80 per cent of the world’s alpaca production. Alpaca-breeding associations, shearers, processing, industrial and artisanal dressmaking companies as well as spinners and fashion designers comprise this sector, which has reached its highest peaks over the past two years. The Arequipa region in Peru, where 95 per cent of fiber is industrially transformed, holds all production chain elements within its territory from fleece harvesting, through processing and dyeing, to garment-manufacturing with added value.
Peruvian alpaca garments and textiles have already been introduced to 30 countries. Alpaca is one of the finest luxury fibers in the world. It’s incredibly soft, with a silky smooth texture.