Alqo Wasi means Dog Home in Quechua, the language
of the Incas. It all started on one of the countless family adventure
journeys along the Peruvian Andes. We had already been in a bus for 4
hours, we had 2 more hours to arrive at the imposing presence of the
great Colca Canyon and I had to come up with an idea of a business for
my university thesis. Suddenly, it just popped into my mind. I had been
looking for clothes for Paco and Lua, my two little spoiled and pampered
Westies, and nothing was good enough for them. As I was sitting by the bus window, I kept
watching these incredible landscapes in the middle of what we call the
sierra; they were covered with these incredible creatures, the Gold of
the Andes as we proudly call them. Alpacas, llamas, guanacos and vicuñas
grazed freely in the vast highlands of the region at more than 10,000
feet above sea level. From time to time we stopped in little villages
were native communities are known for their incredible weaving and
natural dying techniques. The weaving loom is used since pre Hispanic
times and artisans from the Andean region apply ancestral techniques of
spinning and dying to make diverse textiles. After some time, I decided to take the risk. I
created a company that could give our babies a sophisticated and
one-of-a-kind piece of work, and at the same time help a great cause. I
can’t remember of another time when I have been more passionate about
something as I am now. -Patricia Queirolo, Founder of Alqo Wasi
About Alpaca Fiber: In the landscapes of the Peruvian Andes, at elevations of 10,000 to
14,000 feet above sea level, thousands of years ago the Incas
domesticated the Alpaca. Alpaca Fiber, along with cashmere and silk, is
one of the most finest fibers in the world.
Alpacas are members of the South American Camelid family. Together with
Llamas, Guanacos and Vicuñas are called the “Gold of the Andes”.
The Alpaca Fiber is a superb source of shine and texture. Alpaca is the
only animal species worldwide, whose hair naturally displays a wide
array of colors, going from black to white, through different shades of
brown and gray, allowing the animal to blend with the Andean landscape.
And the fleece dyes to glorious colors as well.
Alpaca is a sheared fiber, never skinned. Native Andean herdsmen shear
them every other year at the onset of the rainy season. Alpaca Fiber is seven times stronger and three times warmer
than merino wool. The fiber actually contains microscopic air pockets
that contribute to the creation of lightweight apparel with very high
insulation value. Alpaca is silky against the skin and heavenly smooth to the touch.
It is hypoallergenic and lanolin free; it does not absorb or retain moisture and it often wearable for those people who are allergic to wool.