The Many Looks of Peruvian Alpaca by Deborah Belgum Apparel News
Dog in Lima, Peru
The world of alpaca clothing has many looks.
Frances Harder, president of Fashion Business Inc., in Los Angeles, found that out recently during a nearly three-week United Nationis-sponsored mission to Peru to teach women-owned alpaca companies all about costing and production as well as the ins and outs of the U.S. clothing market.
While in Lima, Harder found that alpaca sweaters are not limited to just humans. There are a few canines, like the one she saw here on a Lima street, that like to don warn-weather gear. (It is winter right now in Peru.)
Harder traveled to Arequipa to give a number of classes. She was accompanied by a group of U.S. and European manufacturers brought by PromPeru, the Peruvian promtional agency. The manufacturers were searching for alpaca producers who could meet their fashion needs.
One of those U.S. production people was Laura Sherman, a consultant to Woodleigh Clothing in Glendale, Calif.
Sherman said she spent one day “speed-dating” 16 manufacturers who examined her samples. She buys panels of fabric and material. The panels are then sewn into tops and dresses and other garments. “Four of them were willing to work along with us,” Sherman said, after returning from her first trip to Peru in June
Harder traveled on to the high-altitude town of Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, to see an experimental alpaca ranch where they are trying to raise alpaca whose fur is longer and finer.
The take-away from Harder and Sherman is that the Peruvian people are some of the nicest people in the world. And there are a lot of alpaca in this Andean country.
Frances Harder with baby alpaca in the highlands of Peru