Alpaca or Llama, Do you know the difference?


At Emilime we source the highest quality materials, the majority of our products are made from alpaca fiber. Alpaca fiber or fleece is a staple in Emilime products. It is known as “The Fiber of the Gods,” as it was used as clothing for only the royalty. There are two types of alpaca fleece. First, the Huacaya alpaca which produce a dense, soft, crispy sheep-like fiber. Second, there is the Suri alpaca with silky pencil-like locks, resembling dreadlocks but without matted fibers. People often confuse the alpaca and llama. Therefore, we thought we could clear up some of the confusion between our favorite animal and its cousin.


Both native to South America, the llama, and the alpaca, are in the camelid family. They were prized commodities in the Incan culture. The majority of today’s llama and alpaca populations are found in the Andes Region of Peru and Bolivia. Although related, the two animals have distinct differences.



Alpacas are bred for its soft fiber that harbors amazing insulating qualities. The fiber is breathable, strong, durable, and hypoallergenic. Alpacas are bred in 22 natural colors with more than 300 shades, from blue-black to bright white.


The alpaca is shy and timid. Therefore, alpacas prefer to be with their herd for security and social relations.

Physical Attributes

The alpaca has soft fleece and short ears. Compared to the llama, alpacas are smaller in weight and height. They weigh between 120 and 180 pounds and measure 5 feet to the top of their ears. Another distinctive attribute that the alpaca has and llamas do not is fleece on their face.



Llamas are bred for their meat and dairy. They also function as pack animals. In addition, the llama does have fiber that can be used. However, it is coarser, and there is less of it compared to the alpaca.


Quite the opposite of their shy and timid cousin, the llama is confident and independent. They are often kept separate from other llamas. Due to their personality and size, llamas can act as a herd guardian for alpacas and other animals.

Physical Attributes

The llama has coarse fleece and long-banana shaped ears. They weigh around 300 pounds and higher and measures 6 feet to the top of their ears. The llama, compared to the alpaca does not have as much hair on their face.

So is it an alpaca or llama?