Vicuna wool from Peru
Loro Piana gets its next kind of wool from a wild relative of the llama - the vicuna - that lives in Peru. This animal is widely viewed in South America as the queen of the Andes,
and the Incas protected it and reserved its wool for royalty. The vicuna produces extremely fine wool and lives in Peru at 4,000 m above sea level.
Loro Piana played an essential role in the 1990s in preserving this endangered species. Before Columbus, up to a million vicunas lived in South America, but they nearly completely died
out in the 20th century due to the great demand created by the unique properties of its wool. In the 1960s only 5,000 vicunas remained in reservations.
The turning point in saving this beautiful species from extinction came in 1994, when Loro Piana signed an affidavit with the Andean regional representatives that vicuna wool would return
to the world market under the auspices of the Peruvian government. There were 98,000 vicunas in 1998, 121,000 in 2001 and today there are more than 150,000. Loro Piana now owns
2,000 hectares near the Pampa Galeras reservation, where vicunas are bred and studied to protect them from extinction.
An adult vicuna produces just 250 g of top quality wool every two years. This means that a vicuna coat needs wool from 25 to 30 animals.