From high in the Peruvian Andes comes one of the finest luxury fibres in the world. Baby alpaca, so silky soft and velvety smooth to the touch it was once reserved for Inca royalty. Alpaca fleece is the natural fibre harvested from an alpaca. While similar to sheep's wool, it's lighter yet much warmer and not itchy against the skin and because it has no lanolin, alpaca can often be worn by people who are allergic to the lanolin in wool. Cousin of the llama, alpacas graze at elevations of 10,000 to 14,000 feet on the harsh altiplano of the Peruvian Andes. Their thick, sumptuous coats grow naturally in over 40 shades-from ivory to black, with all the greys and browns in between. Lighter shades of the fleece also take dyes beautifully.The noble alpaca is tended by native Andean herdsmen, who humanely shear them every other year at the onset of the rainy season. The yield is about eight pounds of fleece per animal. Most of the fleece sheared from the first clip is classified as baby alpaca, as is select fibre from adult alpacas.