The animals which specially belong to the Peruvian Andes are the domestic llamas and alpacas and the wild vicunas.
Alpacas are kept in large flocks which graze on the level heights of the Andes of southern Peru and northern Bolivia, at an elevation of from 14,000 to 16,000 ft.
In the trade, distinctions are made between alpacas and the several styles of mohairs and lustres, but so far as the general purchaser is concerned little or no distinction is made.
Bradford is still the great spinning and manufacturing centre for alpacas, large quantities of yarns and cloths being exported annually to the continent and to the United States, although the quantities naturally vary in accordance with the fashions in vogue, the typical "alpaca-fabric" being a very characteristic "dress-fabric."
- 1905 4,954 Owing to the success in the manufacture of the various styles of alpaca cloths attained by Sir Titus Salt and other Bradford manufacturers, a great demand for alpaca wool arose, and this demand could not be met by the native product, for there never seems to have been any appreciable increase in the number of alpacas available.
The preparing, combing, spinning, weaving and finishing of alpacas and mohairs are dealt with under WooL.
The rearing of llamas and alpacas is a recognized industry in the Bolivian highlands and is wholly in the hands of the Indians, who alone seem to understand the habits and peculiarities of these interesting animals.