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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about alpaca products  Shop by Price

  1. Are your alpaca products made in the USA?
  2. Are alpacas harmed to make alpaca garments?
  3. Is baby alpaca from babies?
  4. Are alpaca products durable?
  5. What if I or my gift recipient do not like the alpaca product?
  6. Will alpaca fade or bleed?
  7. SHIPPING: How long will it take to receive my alpaca gifts order?
  8. Will my dog eat my alpaca teddy bear?
  9. Why Buy Alpaca Products?
  10. Does PurelyAlpaca support Fair Trade?
  11. CARE: How do I best care for my alpaca garment?
  12. ALPACA RETURNS: Can I return this alpaca item?
  13. Do you wholesale alpaca products?
  14. Where can I find the warmest alpaca socks?
  15. On Alpaca Blankets and Alpaca Throws, which do you recommend?
  16. Can you suggest a perfect alpaca gift for me?
  17. How do I assure your alpaca gloves or alpaca hat will fit?

  • Are your alpaca products made in the USA?
    Yes! We have a large number of alpaca items that are made in the USA and we're constantly seeking more! Our American alpaca products come from a wide variety of sources. We're kind of "addicted" to alpaca so we seek out all kinds of items and also produce a lot of items ourselves.

    Here are a few of our USA Made Alpaca sources:

    We purchase hand-spun/hand-dyed alpaca yarn, children's alpaca clothing, alpaca baby booties, alpaca scarves, artwork, etc. from craft artists in the U.S. See our Artist Showcase link to learn about that program. We offer a consignment service for artists who produce more expensive items such as capes, wraps, some scarves, etc. These items can also be seen in our Artist Showcase.

    We purchase yarn, blankets and socks from U.S. mills. We also buy some items from Canada. We have plans which may have us soon purchasing raw alpaca fiber from U.S. farms. We are also currently seeking new sources of commercial American alpaca yarn on commercial quality cones for use in making socks, scarves, etc.

    We also buy items directly from Peru's poorest alpaca farmers in Free Trade support of them.

    Most of our higher end designer items are designed by American designers but made in Arequipa, Peru, the world's capital for Alpaca clothing with hundreds of years of skill in working with alpaca. It is currently quite difficult for U.S. mills to produce high end sweaters, jackets and coats which can compete with Peruvian in quality and of course price.

    We are always seeking new sources of quality U.S. created items. If you learn of items which may fit with our product lines please let us know and/or have the artist check out our Artist Showcase area and contact us.

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  • Are alpacas harmed to make alpaca garments?
    No. The great thing about alpacas is you can love them all you like and there's no need to harm them to get their valuable fleece (we don't call it wool).

    Each late spring, as it begins to get hot, alpacas are shorn for their annual 'clip'. Alpacas are a domesticated animal. The annual shearing is completely natural for them and the animals are notably more comfortable after their annual 'hair cut'.

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  • Is baby alpaca from babies?
    Sometimes...

    Baby alpaca is an industry term, which relates to the fineness of the fibers that went into that particular garment or product. There are several fineness grades of alpaca fiber. The grade of fineness is not necessarily related to the age of the animal from which the fleece came. Baby alpacas (called crias) typically do have very fine fleeces. As alpacas age, the fineness of their fiber tends to decrease. Through selective breeding, there are adult alpacas that continually produce fiber, which grades at baby or finer. As alpaca producers this is a quality that we strive to produce.

    Royal baby is the finest grade of alpaca fleece. Products made from royal baby are very expensive because there are only small amounts of this grade of fiber produced in the world. Baby is the next finest grade. It is very fine and feels wonderful in garments worn next to the skin. Superfine is the third grade and is not quite as fine as baby alpaca, but is still very soft and luxurious. There is a large supply of alpaca produced in this fineness grade. Many of our luxurious garments are made from superfine alpaca. The coarser grades of alpaca fiber are called adult or coarse and are used primarily for rugs, outerwear and other products not worn next to the skin. Some inexpensive alpaca products may actually be produced from the coarser grades of alpaca. Adult alpaca is still nice and has all of the wonderful qualities of the finer grades of alpaca. It just isn't as soft and may feel a bit prickly if worn next to the skin. The durability of the coarser fibers is superior to the finer fibers.

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  • Are alpaca products durable?
    Yes. Alpaca is stronger than cashmere. It is resistant to pilling and will not shrink if proper care is given. Many people find that with correct care their alpaca garments last for years and years.

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  • What if I or my gift recipient do not like the alpaca product?
    No problem! We offer a "PurelyPerfect" return promise. We give a 100% return guarantee. No questions asked except do please tell us if you found anything physically wrong with an item. But again, you do not need an excuse to return an item.

    We ask that you please include a note of what we should do when we receive your return and make sure we know who you are! :) Other than that, just send it back and we'll take care of your return with an exchange or refund per your instructions.

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  • Will alpaca fade or bleed?
    Alpaca fiber comes officially in 22 beautiful colors. These will be extremely resistant to fade or bleed, as it is the natural color of the fiber.

    Dyed garments will have some chance of bleed but since alpaca fiber takes dying better than most other fibers your garment, with proper care, should retain its beauty for many many years.

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  • SHIPPING: How long will it take to receive my alpaca gifts order?
    We ship nearly all orders with USPS Mail which usually takes 3-5 days travel time once your order is shipped. During the busy fall we ship out products daily. The rest of the year we ship out less frequently but typically 2x/week. Do let us know if you have a strict deadline. If your alpaca gift order needs to be rushed, we offer Express USPS mail service. The extra cost depends upon the weight of the package but $19-22 extra is typical. Request USPS EXPREES during checkout by specifying it in the comments or phone in your order. We will add that cost to your order total. When orders are shipped we will email you with tracking info.

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  • Will my dog eat my alpaca teddy bear?
    Maybe! Some dogs just love the scent of our natural alpaca teddy bears. Dogs have been known to love shredding them! Not sure about cats. Be careful as we've had to replace a few teddy bears after a family pet got a hold of them! :)

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  • Why Buy Alpaca Products?
    Alpaca is a relatively unknown specialty fiber which is extremely rare and of excellent quality. It is sought the world over for its luxurious characteristics and beautiful natural look.

    Alpaca fiber is stronger, lighter and more resilient than wool. Finer than cashmere and equal or superior in warmth to Gortex. And of course it is 100% natural and good for the environment. Unlike wool, harsh toxic chemicals are not needed to process alpaca as it contains no lanolin oils.

    Meet someone who has owned a quality alpaca sweater and they will tell you about its unique comfort, encasing warmth, breathability and soothing softness.

    Alpaca fiber comes NATURALLY in 22 different colors! It also dyes very well, hold its color and blends superbly with silk and other fibers.

    Alpaca is naturally hypoallergenic. It lacks the lanolin and other oils seen in other fleeces. Its fineness will be noticed as you don't feel the scratchiness felt with wool. Most people who are allergic to the itchiness or get a rash from wool will cherish being able to wear alpaca!

    Alpaca garments are strong and resilient. Expect to keep your quality garment for years if you take good simple care of it. Most alpaca fine garments DO NOT need to be dry-cleaned. A simple washing in baby shampoo will do just fine. We provide simple care instructions with orders. They are also listed elsewhere in this FAQ and can be found on the main menu on the website.

    Perhaps you, like many others can pass it down as a family heirloom. Alpaca garments dating back over 2000 years in Peru are still in good condition!

    Alpaca is the true standard of clothing luxury. Still relatively rare and expensive (from $3 to $6 an ounce for quality raw fleece), the products made from alpaca are a breed apart.

    Enjoy your alpaca garment and all it represents.

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  • Does PurelyAlpaca support Fair Trade?
    Most assuredly! We only work with suppliers who operate in this manner. The majority of our suppliers have family in Peru and are very concerned about proper treatment of the local workers.

    We also shop directly in Peru and buy at fair prices from the local artisans there.

    See more information in our articles section and this link in particular.

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  • CARE: How do I best care for my alpaca garment?
    Congratulations on your purchase of a fine alpaca product!

    You will find that with proper care, your valuable alpaca garment will become a personal favorite or perhaps even a family heirloom!

    Here are some tips, gleaned from experts, on the best ways to keep your fine alpaca garment clean and in good shape for many years...

    First, think of your alpaca sweater as fine yet strong hair, which is what it essentially is.

    Cleaning any natural animal fiber garment can be done in a washing machine, as long as there is no agitation at all, but we don't recommend it for anything larger than socks. Felting can occur in the spin cycle, every bit as easily as agitation. The finer the fibers, the less handling it can take before felting.

    Temperature changes between the wash and rinse water tends to be the most common cause of shrinkage. Make sure the water stays the same temperature. Lukewarm is best, about 100 to 105 degrees. Don't use extremely hot or cold water.

    Laundry soap and dishwashing liquid can be too harsh for some fibers. We recommend baby or other mild shampoo to our customers (skip the stuff with lots of fragrance or conditioners added - cheap stuff is just fine). After all, these products are designed for gently cleaning hair fibers, thus it's fabulous for alpaca garments.

    Swish your garment very, very gently in a (clean!) sink with the shampoo, let sit for just two or three minutes, and rinse in same temp water. Be sure to think in advance about how you'll get the same temperature water for washing and rinsing. Maybe a bucket transferred from the tub once the temperature is set. Try to handle the item as little as possible.

    Leave it in the sink for a few minutes for it to drain, gently squeeze just enough water out so you don't soak the floor when taking the garment out of the sink. Lay it out on a towel and GENTLY roll up in the towel. Don't squeeze or press hard- you only want to have the towel absorb more water. Leave it in the towel for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a dry towel and let air dry. Turn over and place on fresh, dry towel every few hours (drying time is highly controlled by room temperature and humidity). Another nice, simple and inexpensive drying method is to use a sweater dryer rack. These allow you to lay out the sweater and provide good air flow around the garment. They typically cost around $10 at Wal-Mart type stores or online (search for: sweater drying rack).

    Whatever you do, don't use Woolite! Even the "gentle" formula can be too harsh for some fine clothing.

    Structured coats, jackets, finely woven or intricately detailed garments should be dry-cleaned.

    Though not as susceptible as wool items, during the summer months, your alpaca garments should be stored away from possible moth infestation. We recommend using a sealed cedar chest, closed bag, or another moth protected environment.

    With proper care, your alpaca garment will give you many years of soft warm enjoyment and you too will have an alpaca heirloom!

    If you have further questions about the care of your fine alpaca item, feel free to talk with us at:

    1-877-PURELYA info@purelyalpaca.com

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  • ALPACA RETURNS: Can I return this alpaca item?
    Surely. PurelyAlpaca allows returns on any item we sell. We want you to be happy with your purchase and shop with us in the future.

    We ask that you let us know you are returning an item and if you would like credit or a full refund. Please return unwanted items within 30 days.

    Please be sure to tell us if there is an actual problem or flaw with the item so we do not restock it... though you do not need a "reason" to return.

    Return to the address below. A copy of the receipt is appreciated by not required but do please include a reminder note of what we should do when we receive your return.

    Purely Alpaca PO BOX 8598 La Jolla, CA 92038

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  • Do you wholesale alpaca products?
    Yes, we wholesale alpaca clothing, alpaca accessories and gifts. We'll sort of... Our sister company, www.ChoiceAlpacaFootwear.com offers a number of "Choice" alpaca products at wholesale pricing. Reasonable minimum purchases apply for wholesale orders. We have a set of regular high quality alpaca products which we offer year after year as well as an array of unique alpaca items we offer from time to time. All of our wholesale alpaca products are focused on the small store and are designed to be good sellers for alpaca farms and alpaca boutiques. We also have many small business customers that are outside of the alpaca industry which have had great success with our products. Stores that are successfully offering our alpaca products to their customers include: Outdoors Stores Bird Specialty Shops Motorcycle Shops Sporting Good Stores and others. Wholesale alpaca minimums are reasonable and allow for small stores to test out our wholesale products in their business. Our open wholesale product return promise is rarely needed by our alpaca retailer customers but the promise allows stores to purchase larger orders, knowing unsold items can be returned with no problem. Take a look at www.ChoiceAlpacaFootwear.com for more info on our wholesale alpaca offerings and contact sales@choicealpacafootwear.com for more info.

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  • Where can I find the warmest alpaca socks?
    You're in the right place for the warmest alpaca socks! Our own designs, the Choice brand Superwarm Heavy Extreme Alpaca Socks are very warm and comfortable. The Superwarm Heavy Extreme Alpaca Socks feature an inner insulation design which produces an excellent layer to warmth around the foot. The shear size of the socks gives you plenty of alpaca warmth for even the coldest conditions. The Superwarm HEavy Extreme Alpaca Socks are the heaviest, warmest and most comfortable extreme weather socks out there!

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  • On Alpaca Blankets and Alpaca Throws, which do you recommend?
    We have a lot of alpaca blankets and alpaca throws to choose from. Picking the best for your needs can be a challenge! Please take a look at all of the blanket and throws offering in our Alpaca Throws and Blankets (http://purelyalpaca.com/alpaca-throws-and-blankets-c-26.html) section. We offer a wide variety of alpaca blankets and throws, from thin and lofty to heavily woven. Boucle, loose weave, tight weave and lots of other options in weight, color and texture of our alpaca items. There are all kinds of options available. Each item will describe the weight, thickness and dimensions of the item. If you have additional questions, feel free to email or call us with your questions. We'll be happy to help!

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  • Can you suggest a perfect alpaca gift for me?
    Sure we can! We've been at this for many years. We know our products well and will be happy to help you find the right gift. Just contact us and let us know the kind of gift you are after and we'll have some suggestions for you. Please also be sure to look over the various alpaca shopping categories we have on PurelyAlpaca.com We have specific categories to help with gift shopping, some very specific like: Alpaca Stocking Stuffers Alpaca Gift Cards Small Alpaca Gifts Alpaca Lover Gifts Alpaca Home Decor Alpaca Luxury Alpaca For Kids ...and many more. We also will be happy to help you find an item even if we don't carry it. We're big fans of the movie, "Miracle on 34th Street". We'll be happy to recommend other stores with an item you're looking for if we don't have it.

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  • How do I assure your alpaca gloves or alpaca hat will fit?
    We know it can be hard to shop on the internet for clothing. Although we have a very easy return promise we realize you want to get it right the first time. For accessory items like alpaca gloves and alpaca hats, check the size description shown but note that most of our alpaca accessories are knit items and have a natural "give" that will let them fit a wide range. We'll be happy to help you with any questions on our products!

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