The Vicuña is the most graceful and scarce of the four South American camelids. Still wild, it lives in the High Andes at 4000 meters above sea level. Peru has a population of some 160’000 Vicuñas, but smaller numbers of Vicuñas can also be found in Northern Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. The wild animals are shorn carefully during a respectful ceremony which is steeped in legend and ancestral tradition.
The Vicuña fiber is, at 12 micron, the finest animal fiber in the world. In the era of the Incas, clothing made of Vicuña fibers was reserved for the noble class. In the 1960s, however, the Vicuña was on the brink of extinction. Then, under the authority of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) a rescue program was carried out to save this graceful species. Since the 1990s the world’s most luxurious fiber has fortunately returned to the most exclusive outlets in very limited quantities.