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Alpaca v Llama

Hi there!

Trolley Molly offers a range of luxurious fashionable Alpaca garments. Aplaca wool is exquisite and sought after for its properties. I thought you'd like to know a little more about our cute friends, the Alpacas, and their big cousins, the Llamas! Why do we prize the fibre from the Alpaca and not his big cousin, the Llama?

Part of the camel family, Camelidae, both species are primarily found in Peru and Bolivia. They are two of four lamoid species - the other two being the vicuña and guanaco, their wild cousins. An interesting fact - all four species are able to interbreed and create fertile offspring. So good news all round!

You know, Alpacas are gentle and shy, while Llamas are very confident and brave. Llamas are often used as herd guards for Alpaca breeders as they can and will protect themselves, and their herd.

Llamas are quick to spit when they feel threatened! An Alpaca will spit, but only as a last resort if really angry or scared!

So, let's check them out once and for all! What are their main differences?

1. Alpacas have short spear shaped ears. Llamas ears are much longer and banana shaped.

2. Alpacas are smaller in size - they weigh around 150lb while a Llama can weigh 400lbs! Alpacas are shorter at a sweet 34-36 ins, while his big cousin ranges from 42-46 ins.

3. Llamas have a handsome long elegant face, while our cutie has a more blunt shaped face giving that adorable funny expression.

4. For more than 5000 years Alpacas have been bred for their luxurious wool which is one of the finest in the world. Llamas have been bred as pack animals and for their meat. Known as the 'Ship of the Andes', Llamas can carry heavy weights for long distances.

5. The Alpaca produces much finer fibre than the Llama, and much more of it. In fact, Alpacas naturally have 22 colour variations! Cool!

6. Alpacas are very intelligent and can learn tricks. Sweet! Llamas are much too arrogant, proud and confident for all that!

So now you see why we adore those cute Alpacas and admire the strength of their big cousins!

So why is Alpaca wool so sought after in a garment? Why is it such a luxury?

Alpaca wool is warmer than sheep's wool because more air is trapped in its more hollow structure. It is softer and sturdier than Cashmere and lighter than sheep's wool. The natural colour range is impressive to say the least - 22 natural shades! The Alpaca fleece is a luxurious natural commodity that produces warm, silky, durable and feather-light garments.

Guess which is which?

Alpacas habits

Alpacas are herbivors. Their favourite meal is grass, munch weeds or hay, although they might eat bark or wood. In captivity they are also partial to carrots, celery, lettuce, parsley, cabbage, and brussel sprouts! Apples and pineapples for afters! True veggies then.

An Alpaca will live for 15-20 years.

They don't particularly like to be petted, but if they get to know you then a quick neck scratch wouldn't go amiss!

The gestation period is average 11.5 months and Mum normally produces a single offspring, or cria.

Alpacas sleep in a lying down kush position at night.

A group of Alpacas is called a herd.

Alpace fleece has 22 natural shades and they can be bred for a specific colour. Colours range from black to silver and rose grey and white, mahogany brown to light fawn and champagne. These guys are special!

To see our range of fabulous luxurious Alpaca products click here...

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Love from Marianne at Trolley Molly x

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