The history of textiles in Peru started 5,000 years ago when pre-Inca and Inca civilization weavers mastered natural cotton and alpaca fibers. Now, these ancestral techniques, combined with modern garment making techniques, are used by designers, weavers and garment makers to create modern, comfortable and original clothes.
The superb quality of Peruvian garments made from alpaca fibers bedazzles the world. These noble weavings are one of the legacies passed down from the Andean civilization to the world. Peru makes 80 percent of the world’s alpaca yarn. More important than its volume, however, is the Peruvian alpaca fleece’s softness, and how easy it is to dye and weave.
Alpaca fiber comes from the alpaca, an animal that lives 4,000 meters above sea level in extreme temperatures that are controlled by tiny air bags to keep the alpaca warm in cold weather and cool when temperatures rise. Alpacas grow their hair in 22 natural colors, of luster similar to silk’s. Their fiber is hypoallergenic and their herding is environmentally sustainable.
Another Peruvian fiber in great demand by international markets is cotton — particularly the Pima variety, the world’s longest and finest cotton yarn, used to make materials that have a special sheen and are amazingly soft to the touch. Tanguis cotton is characterized by its great capacity to absorb dyes, making it particularly adequate for pattern prints.
International brands, including Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani, Guess, Lacoste, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Zara, regularly have their collections prepared by Peruvian manufacturers.
Peru can offer the international fashion world quick turnaround times for finely crafted garments. Peruvian manufacturers can meet the most exacting international market pricing, manufacturing and delivery time standards.
Peruvian garments are increasingly manufactured to meet international fair trade standards based on respect and equity principles so all participants in the fibers’ value chains can benefit, from yarn makers to spinners and weavers to apparel makers.