OUR MATERIALS

 

Emilime is committed to sourcing the highest quality materials sourced from the Peruvian highlands.

 

Alpacas have been bred in South America for thousands of years, and their fiber is known as “The Fiber of the Gods,” as it was used to make clothing for royalty. Alpaca fiber is soft, harbors amazing insulating qualities, allows for breathability and is known worldwide for its strength, durability, and hypoallergenic qualities. From the small farms throughout the Peruvian highlands where the fleece is shorn, the fiber goes to Arequipa where it is sorted, cleaned and spun into yarn.

 

There are two types of alpaca: Huacaya (which produce a dense, soft, crimpy sheep-like fiber) and Suri (with silky pencil-like locks, resembling dreadlocks but without matted fibers). Alpacas are bred in 22 natural colors with more than 300 shades, from blue-black to bright white and every thing in between. More than eighty percent of the world’s alpaca population can be found in southern Peru, northwest of Lake Titicaca at 3,700-5,000 meters above sea level. The alpaca is a symbol of Peruvian national identity.

 

Sheep wool has a similar production cycle to alpaca fiber. One sheep produces anywhere from two to thirty pounds of wool annually. The wool from one sheep is called a fleece; the wool from many is called a clip. The amount of wool a sheep produces depends on its breed, nutrition, and the frequency of its shearing. In Peru, there are three principle types of sheep – Corriedale, Junin and Criollo. The Criollo is the best-adapted to the highlands of Peru, and can be seen in rural zones throughout the country. In many cases, we mix alpaca fiber and sheep wool together in our designs to create beautiful patterns and varying textures.

 

While all of our products have a base of all natural Peruvian alpaca or highland sheep wool, sometimes we integrate some other synthetic fibers to add texture or shape, allowing us to get more innovative with our designs. When we use a synthetic fiber, if at all, it is either acrylic or polyamide and never makes up the majority of a product’s composition. Using other materials expands the possibilities of design and fit of our knit accessories.

Learn About Our Production Process

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