Why is vicuna wool so expensive?

The vicuña lives in the wild on the Andes mountain range, subject to extreme climatic variations, which makes its fleece the softest and finest in the world, but at the same time, in the unparalleled strength of an animal that lives in the absolute wild.

The Men's Fashion Cluster presented the vicuna fabric at MRKET

Why is vicuña wool so expensive?

Vicuña wool so expensive because vicu?as produce small amounts of extremely fine wool. The vicuña will only produce about 0.5 kg of wool a year, and gathering it requires a certain process. The animal can only be shorn every three years, and has to be caught from the wild. Prices for vicuña fabrics can range from US$1,800 to US$3,000 per yard. Vicuña wool can be used for apparel (suits, coats, sweaters, accessories, shawls, and socks) and home furnishings (blankets and throws). A vicuña wool scarf costs around US$1,500.

Vicuñas live at altitudes of 3 200 to 4 800 m and feed in daytime on the grassy plains of the Andes Mountains, but spend the nights on the slopes. In these areas, only nutrient-poor, tough, bunch grasses and Festuca grow. The sun's rays are able to penetrate the thin atmosphere, producing relatively warm temperatures during the day; however, the temperatures drop to freezing at night. The vicuña's thick but soft coat is a special adaptation which traps layers of warm air close to it's body, so it can tolerate freezing temperatures. The wool is popular due to its warmth. Its properties come from the tiny scales on the hollow, air-filled fibres. It causes them to interlock and trap insulating air. At the same time, it is finer than any other wool in the world, measuring 12 micrometers in diameter.

The Men's Fashion Cluster presented the vicuna fabric at MRKETThe animals were sheared and then released; this was only done once every four years. That operation must be very delicate because the animal is very suscettibile and if scared could die of heart attack!

The vicuña was believed to be the reincarnation of a beautiful young maiden who received a coat of pure gold from a king. Because of this, it was against the law for anyone wear its fleece, except for Inca royalty.

At present, the international CITES guarantee that animal was captured, sheared alive, returned to the wild, and cannot be sheared again for another two years.

These properties guarantee not only a precious quality but also a performance superior to any other fiber, considered to be a suprme Divine fiber.

The Lanificio F.lli Cerruti offers it in two different weights, integrating the Natural color with Black and 'Night of the Andes' Blue.

The Men's Fashion Cluster presented this high quality fabric at MRKET - the exclusive show for the menswear industry - January 2014 New York.

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About the Author

Veselka Petrova

Veselka writes for the menswear section of Be Global Fashion Network. She has a passion for classic men`s elegance and she is keen on giving advices to men in order to look and feel better. She also has interest in the men`s fashion industry and sustainable fashion.

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