There are two kinds of alpacas, the Huacaya (pronounced Wuh-kai-ya) and the Suri. Huacaya alpacas are fluffy like teddy bears and Suri alpacas have long shiny locks like very soft, slightly curly hair.There are advantages to each kind. Suri alpacas are much more rare and more expensive. The fiber of the Suri fetches a higher price on the international market.
A Huacaya Alpaca
A Suri Alpaca
Because of their cuddly looks, Huacaya alpacas have a more universal appeal than do the Suris. Huacaya alpacas are hardier than Suri alpacas, so they are easier to keep healthy. I know quite a few hand spinners who like to spin Huacaya alpaca fiber, but those who spin Suri alpaca fiber mix it with cotton, wool or Silk. It is generally too slippery to use alone. But, when mixed, it is softer and finer than Huacaya. I myself spin Huacaya and love how soft and easy it is to spin.
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