Overall, sheep wool is quite multipurpose and easily blended with fibers from other animals and plants. To dig deeper into the great mystery of an alpaca vs llama, I’ve written a description of Llamas and Alpacas and described their similarities. It is a hollow fiber so it is warmer than wool of a similar weight. Llamas’ hair is coarser, and their wool is considered inferior, but llama breeders are working to create a llama breed with finer, softer hair. Fibers on their neck, underbelly, and legs are a bit coarser and of varying length. This post contains affiliate links. Hi. Annual global output for llama yarn is about 600 tons. After vicuñas, llama fiber is precious. Alpaca Wool: Alpaca wool understandably comes from the wool of the alpaca, a South American camelid similar to a llama. Llama fleece sells for $3 to $4.00 per oz. Peru, Bolivia, and Chile have the largest number of Alpacas. It depends on the individual animal, but alpacas are generally friendlier. Alpaca fleece has finer fiber and more of it; it comes in 22 colors! Alpaca wool is water and flame resistant. Question: What is the wool of a llama called? It takes one Alpaca to produce enough wool to make four or five sweaters per year while four goats produce enough wool to make one sweater per year only. They both communicate disappointment by spitting. You may also see or hear the terms Lamb’s wool, which refers to fleece sheared from sheep that are younger than eight months old; Virgin wool, refers to wool that is not processed before it is used to make products; and Pulled wool, which is wool chemically-extracted from sheepskin. Some farmers use llamas as guard animals and to protect an alpaca herd. Alpacas, however, cannot protect themselves. This breed produces a very coarse, thick fleece. Their fur comes in a wide range of sizes, shades and colors, from white to an almost jet black. Three million years later, they migrated to South America, because of the Great American Interchange. It too provided native Incas with fine, gorgeous fleece. Their camelid cousin, vicuñas, are smaller than alpacas and guanacos and are more delicate. Answer: The average life expectancy of a llama is 20 years, but they've been known to live a long as 30. Fair enough, at first glance, they look alike. They make excellent guard animals as they have a protective instinct. Their ears are also much smaller than a llama’s and shaped like a triangular spear-head. The quality, degree of softness, and strength of alpaca fleece depends on fiber diameter and density. This material comes from the alpaca , which boasts an extraordinarily fluffy, dense, strong coat. Important Note: There are four similar animals all related to each other. Beverley Byer (author) from United States of America on May 22, 2015: Thanks for your comment. The llama (/ ˈ l ɑː m ə /; Spanish pronunciation: ) (Lama glama) is a domesticated South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since the Pre-Columbian era.. Llamas are very social animals and live with others as a herd.Their wool is very soft and lanolin-free.Llamas can learn simple tasks after a few repetitions. They snip the grass, not ripping the whole piece of grass out, including its roots. I’m Jodie Morgan, owner and creator of Knit Like Granny. In fact, the sheep is thought to be one of the first animals domesticated by humans. Alpaca wool is mainly used for garments to enhance comfort due to its unique properties. Sheep with long fleece are sheared biannually. Baby alpaca wool provides the softest touch and earns the highest prices. Their neck and body are slim underneath. Let’s examine the similarities between an alpaca vs llamas. It’s known for its exceptional softness, warmth, moisture-wicking breathability and naturally hypoallergenic, flame-retardant properties. From there, the industry exploded, especially in the 11th and 12 centuries. It scorches easily; is prone to discoloration; will shrink in water; contains lanolin and therefore must be processed and usually with harsh chemicals. Despite being native to South America, there are about 300,000 of Alpacas and llamas in the United States. Alpaca is softer than almost all sheep's wool. Most are the second variety. They are both from the same camelid family. Alpacas faces are short, have a blunt muzzle, and are very fluffy. Their main supply is meat and not wool. Fibers are easily damaged by alkaline substances and sunlight. They’re sometimes used as a source of meat. The 11th and 12 centuries weigh between 130 – 200 kg or 150 pounds while can! ’ ‘ Vicugna pacos. ’ ‘ Vicugna pacos. ’ ‘ Vicugna ’ sounds like ‘ vicuna, domesticated. 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