Black Diamond Alpacas

Our alpacas will steal your heart

Alpaca Facts


              A cousin to the llama, alpacas have been domesticated for over 5,000 years and are native to South America.  Known for their luxurious fiber, the Incas called them the “Gold of the Andes”.  First imported in the 1980's, the US is now home to over 70,000 alpacas.


              There are two types of alpacas - Huacaya (pronounced wa-ki-ya) and Suri (pronounced soo-ri).  The Huacaya's fiber grows out from the body, giving a fluffy teddy-bear look.  The Suri has a sleeker look due to the fiber growing straight down in shiny locks.  Both types are shorn once a year with anywhere from 3 to 12 lbs of fiber per animal.  Alpacas have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years and have a gestation of 11 months.  A baby alpaca is called a cria.  An adult is typically 36in tall at the withers and weigh approx. 170 lbs.  Alpacas have a strong herd instinct, so a minimum of 2 is necessary.


              Whether looking for a potential source of income or family-friendly livestock, alpacas can change your life.  Gentle and easy to care for, they can be raised by just about anyone. Alpacas eat grass and chew a cud.  Since they have communal dung piles, clean-up is simple.  Alpacas are earth-friendly - they have padded feet and teeth only on the lower jaw. Unlike most livestock, alpacas are perfect for small acreage.  One acre can support 5 to 10 animals.


              Alpacas are often referred to as the world's finest livestock investment.  They are in strong demand and continue to hold their value.  There are excellent profit opportunities and tax advantages available to breeders.  Beyond breeding, there are many secondary sources of income from raising alpacas.  Tending to a graceful herd of alpacas, can be an exciting way to generate income and live a rewarding lifestyle.  After all, what other “stock” investment doubles every year!


             “Oh my gosh!”, “it’s so soft”, “I just want to hug it forever” these are just a few of the comments we hear in our store the first time a customer feels an alpaca sweater or picks up a stuffed bear.  It’s no wonder the Inca’s called alpaca “the fiber of the gods” and reserved it only for royalty. 

             Alpaca comes in 22 natural colors and an infinite array can be produced by blending.  Additionally, alpaca can be easily dyed.  Three times stronger and five times warmer than wool, alpaca is durable and lightweight with excellent thermal and insulating properties.  Alpaca has a beautiful drape and will not pill or lose its shape.  The fiber has a natural, rich luster that looks similar to silk.  It is extremely versatile and can be used to create a bulky tweed or a fine gabardine cloth.  Some of the finest Italian suits are made of alpaca.

             Many people who are allergic to wool are able to wear alpaca without any problems.  Unlike wool, alpaca contains no lanolin which means it can also be cleaned without the use of harsh chemicals.  Alpaca fiber resembles hair with a relatively smooth outer husk, unlike wool, which has a rough outer husk – the “prickle factor”.  For those who find wool garments itchy and uncomfortable, many can wear baby alpaca sweaters next to their skin with no problem.

Amelia modeling the latest in cria apparel (approx 2 hours old)