Alpaca Marca Peru
How to dye naturally Alpaca fiber? Learn about this important technique.

How to dye naturally Alpaca fiber? Learn about this important technique.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Alpaca fiber is the base material of many of our winter garments and the latest fashion trends. Discover here how to give it color naturally following the Andean tradition.

The alpaca is a typical animal of the South American Andes and Peru is fortunate to be home to 80% of its world population. This camelid was domesticated thousands of years ago by ancient Peruvians and is part of our ancestral culture to this day. Alpaca fiber is one of the finest and most popular in the world, as well as being extremely soft and very resistant, as can be seen with the pre-Inca clothing found in good condition.

 

Have you ever wondered how they gave it different colors and then, created beautiful garments? We will tell you the steps that alpaca fiber producers follow to dye the fiber naturally, maintaining the ancient traditions.

 

 

 

 

Natural dyeing process

Alpaca fiber can be dyed in the color you want by following these steps:


 

  1. The fiber of the body of the alpaca is cut.
  2. The fiber is washed using saqta root which is typical in rural Andean areas. This root, when combined with water, produces a foam similar to detergent.
  3. Once cleaned, the fiber begins to be spun and then decide what color.
  4. The choice of vegetables to achieve the colors is varied: the kinsa k'ushu plant (which translates as 'three corners') serves to give it a blue or turquoise color; "palo palo" stem, the pink tones; from the moss of the rocks, the orange or yellow colors; Tara seeds give the lead or gray tones; eucalyptus leaves, the light green tones; the hilca leaves give more shades of green; with purple corn, the purple tones (the color is fixed with the urine of children) and with cochineal, you can get the red color and derivatives.
  5. Finally, the fiber is soaked in the dye and in hot water to make the dyes.

 

You already know! You can get beautiful colors from alpaca fiber, using only plants and organic material. One more reason to appreciate the work of our Andean artisans!