At 16,000 feet (5,000 meters) altitude there are 40 degree temperature differences over the course of 24 hours. To cope with this, the South American alpaca has evolved a lightweight covering that wears cool in the heat and warm in the cold. The mystery, at least to me, is why with those qualities it is no longer used for tailored clothing.
I have had a mild fascination with alpaca since I first read of it used as a tropical suiting in John le Carré's The Tailor of Panama. That had some credibility for me because I have seen an alpaca lined tweed from the late Duke of Windsor's wardrobe. But there is no alpaca in the cloth books, nor has anyone I have spoken to seen it in living memory. There are Peruvian knitwear makers however their use of the stuff for clothing is limited to cardigan sweaters and the like. Puzzling, and Mr. le Carré' has never replied to my letter asking him about it.
All this is preamble to the events of September 29 and 30, which are National Alpaca Farm Days in the United States, an opportunity to visit alpaca farms across the United States.
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