Posts Tagged ‘Alpaca Fiber’


Sunday, November 18th, 2012

So here at Mayu we come across a lot of people who know nothing about alpaca fiber. They’ve never owned an alpaca scarf or hat before so it is our job to educate them on the benefits of alpaca wool so they purchase one of our hand-knit alpaca scarves or alpaca hats.

Obviously we can count on alpacas for  providing the most high-quality, resilient and luxurious fiber around, but  there is so much more to be learned about these charming creatures.

For example…

  • Ancient Incas realized the potential of alpaca fiber almost 6,000 years ago when they began domesticating them for their fleece. Because of the exquisite quality of garments woven with the fiber, it was reserved strictly for society’s elite.
  • The Incas weren’t alone in their love for alpacas- the number of alpaca farms in the U.S. and Canada has been growing steadily since the early 1980′s. A single herd was transported over in 1984, and today that herd has multiplied to include over 20,000 alpacas across North America.

To learn 10 things about alpaca that you surely didn’t know, click here. And, read here for a snapshot on alpaca fiber vs. cashmere vs. wool.

   For more on Mayu, find us on Twitter, and Facebook, and hear more stories from the field on our Blog!



Sunday, October 21st, 2012

This much overdue, but wanted to share with readers some of the key differences between alpaca fiber and other fibers that consumers often confuse with alpaca — cashmere (which actually comes from a goat) and wool (from sheep). Mayu’s hand-knit alpaca scarves and hats are knit with pure Peruvian alpaca. Yup, the real deal — pure, luxurious alpaca!


the warmest

eco-friendly fiber; no lanolin oil so no harsh washing chemicals

eco-friendly animal;  grazing, digestion

hypoallergenic (if you are alergic to wool, you may not be alergic to alpaca)

high quality; it won’t pill, it will look new forever and it will last a lifetime

shiny, soft and snuggly

scarcity; our alpaca comes all the way from the Peruvian andes

wool (sheep)

less insulating so not as warm as alpaca

itchier and pricklier than alpaca

less durable than alpaca; it just might fall apart

lower quality than alpaca; it just might pill

cashmere (goat)

it is indeed soft  but…

known to pill, stretch, cling, wrinkle

contribute to ecological degradation

   For more on Mayu, find us on Twitter, and Facebook, and hear more stories from the field on our Blog!



Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

As a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru, and before starting Mayu, I was fortunate to visit the world’s capital of the Alpaca, the Andean city of Arequipa, Wow, what a beautiful city — it is the second biggest in Peru, and source of 85% world’s alpaca fiber.  The Peruvian Export and Tourism Promotion Agency PromPeru has been instrumental in the commercialization of the best alpaca fiber out there (which Mayu uses to knit our alpaca scarves, hats, wraps and more)!

PromPeru has understood the hidden potential, and started projects to increase quality, production and access. They have been increasing the international competitiveness of Arequipa’s textile producers and designers…




Saturday, February 5th, 2011

Mayu Customers have repeatedly prized us for great looking accessories that also have the distinctive characteristics as “cozy”, “warm” and “luxurious” (Read customer testimonials here). Beyond our lifestyle designs, handmade nature and overall coolness of our alpaca hats, scarves, hoodies and wraps, part of the credit should be given to the excellent material that Mayu’s artisans use – the alpaca fiber.

The Alpaca Research Foundation recently conducted a study on the properties of alpaca.  Fiber samples were taken from over 600 US alpacas, and compared to cashmere, wool and other materials. The results showed, without getting too technical, that compared to wool of similar fineness, alpaca was higher yielding, more heavily medullated (a distinctive feature of alpaca), longer, and therefore, considerably stronger.

Because of these positive properties, alpaca is an increasingly popular material for apparel and interior design and Mayu is proud to use the highest quality, 100% pure, eco-friendly, alpaca fiber in our hand-knit, fair trade winter fashion. Read more about the fiber here or experience it yourself by choosing some of our hand knitted, 100% Peruvian alpaca accessories (with free shipping till Valentine’s Day).

For more,  find us on Twitter, and Facebook, and hear more stories from the field on our Blog!



Saturday, January 29th, 2011

When I joined the Peace Corps in Peru, I arrived to live with my host family and within minutes, I’d been served a steaming hot cup of tea. The flavor? Mate de Coca — it contained fresh, green coca leaves and tasted delicious. Mate de Coca was known to ward off altitude sickness (and, as you’ve seen, Mayu’s alpaca winter wear and ladies accessories are produced high in the Andes Mountains), stave of hunger for those without the financial means to overload on food and well, many other uses…
In addition to drinking the tea, many people choose to chew the leaves and this is common in both Peru and Bolivia.

Unfortunately, the international community is hoping to ban the use of  Coca chewing, probably because they are “drugs”? Hm. A couple days ago in La Paz, Bolivia, people came together to promote the chewing of coca leaves and industrialization outside of the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia —

A UN convention, reaffirmed in 2009, imposes a blanket prohibition on drugs, including even the traditional use of coca leaves by Andean communities for chewing and tea. Bolivia asked to lift the ban – though not restriction to grow coca for cocaine, however the US raised an objection. So, Bolivians went protesting against an international ban on the traditional practice, which is integral part also of life in the town where Mayu’s artisans live.

Wow, what would it be like to not drink coca tea in the cold evenings with our artisans while they knit our fair trade, eco-friendly, alpaca accessories such as hats, scarves, throws and more? Read more about the situation here on the BBC.

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Sunday, January 9th, 2011

I was recently asked by Mayu’s friend (and proud owner of a hand-knit, fair trade Mayu throw and Mayu fingerless alpaca gloves), Sarah Lagrotteria, to talk about my eating habits! Eek. Sarah owns Apples & Onions, an LA-based catering company that creates delicious, gourmet foods. Yum! She decided to profile the owners of some of her favorite local & independent businesses. Thanks for choosing Mayu, Sarah!

I thought it was somewhat amusing to go back and read what I’d written for Sarah so I’m sharing it here! It sheds some pretty great light into my life and for once, it doesn’t talk about alpaca…

“I’m going to start with the fact that I’m a vegetarian. No, I’m not a vegan — I love cheese way too much for that.  I hate to admit it, but I’m not the most adventurous when it comes to trying new foods (which is ironic considering my bold personality). I am stuck in my routine…

Living the fast-paced, budget-conscious student life, I typically start my day with one of the high-fiber cereals. If cereal wasn’t so shamelessly easy, I’d probably substitute breakfast with something a bit more “labor-intensive” like a smoothie. Fresh fruit, Greek yogurt and ice. Simple, yet delicious! If I could eat a pound of Rainier Cherries or an Acai shake (the real deal from Brazil) every morning, I would.




Friday, August 27th, 2010

Hey everyone, please enjoy our Fall 2010 Newsletter (this should catch you up to date on everything Mayu)!

Mayu  Hand Knit Alpaca

August 27, 2010


Just in time for autumn and the arrival of our NEW FALL DESIGNS, Mayu is having a FABULOUS giveaway contest and we want to make sure you have the chance to win a gorgeous Kelly Green Long Rayas Hoodie. This ECO-FRIENDLY, FAIRLY-TRADED, ALPACA hoodie is an incredibly popular product (only a few left!) and retails for $180! So warm, so stylish, a perfect addition to your fall wardrobe!

There are three ways to enter and spread the love for Mayu. If you do all, you will be entered three times:

(1) Mention and link to this giveaway on your blog, Facebook page, AND/OR Twitter (be sure to include @shopmayu in the Tweet). Follow up with a post in the below comment section or an email to to confirm!

(2) Add us to your “blogroll” if you have a blog. Leave a comment below with your site so we can check it out!

(3) Respond to this blog post telling us why you just need an alpaca hoodie and how you will wear it!

The giveaway will close August 30th at 10AM. Each person is limited to three entries. The winner will be selected via random number generator software and notified immediately. Shipping is on Mayu!

Enter today and spread the Mayu love!


Our new, loose, chunky and super soft designs will very soon be available to discerning fashionistas such as yourself! Mayu’s designer, Laddhavan Sutana and Kate Robertson, Mayu’s founder stepped it up a notch to bring you a new collection of sophisticated,  alpaca pieces. We just spent two weeks in Peru working with Mayu’s artisans to refine the new line and to deliver you a these luxurious new accessories. We can’t say much now, you’ll have to wait to see the line on our site next week!

However, we can tell you that pictured is our new UNISEX SCARF, a great gift for that especially stylish man or lady! Like our other amazing alpaca pieces, Mayu’s new fall line can be purchased individually or wholesale. Don’t forget to check our site soon!


Kate Robertson, Mayu’s founder, just embarked on a two-week trip to Chiquian, Peru. Chiquian is the home of Mayu’s artisans, the collaborative of women who handcraft our fabulous alpaca accessories. Artisans like Mari , and  Elvira, are the lifeblood of Mayu and the reason for its existence. Kate had a wonderful time visiting these artisans with whom she spent over two years when volunteering in the Peace Corps , and the results were very gratifying. Kate did not get much free time, but when she did she spent it dancing huayno music and walking in the foothills of the Huayhash mountains.

It can be very challenging to operate an organization such as Mayu, which involves American designers and entrepreneurs as well as Peruvian artisans, but in the end our goal of making the world a little bit fairer makes all the effort worthwhile. Check our blog to READ, SEE and HEAR more about Kate’s trip to Peru!


In addition to having our own blog available for your viewing pleasure, Mayu is excited to have been recently featured on such websites as Karikuy, One Mango Tree , and Heart Handmade!

Don’t forget to check our our Youtube, Twitter , Facebook, LinkedIn and Flickr accounts! There’s always excited news to be shared!
And, if you haven’t yet taken our Customer Satisfaction Survey, we’d love it if you took 30 SECONDS to complete it.

Thanks for reading,
The Mayu Team



Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

As a follow-up to Mayu‘s visit to the Victory Alpaca Ranch last week, check out more photos of these adorable and sweet Camelids.

Connect with Mayu’s Twitter, Facebook and blog for more on alpaca, eco-fashion, and fun Fair Trade adventures!



Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Visited the Victory Ranch Alpaca Farm in Mora, New Mexico and came across this sign. Sums everything up just about perfectly. Enough said!

Connect with Mayu on Twitter, Facebook and our blog for exciting news about Peru, artisans, sustainability, eco-fashion, fair trade, and hand-knit alpaca.



Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Click Pic for Video Link!

Watch traditional Peruvian weaving in action! The Travel Channel‘s Samantha Brown visits rural Peru to discover the differences between llamas and alpacas, and to witness traditional weaving techniques. Click the photo to follow the link>>

Connect with Mayu on Twitter, Facebook and our blog for exciting news about sustainability, eco-fashion, fair trade, and hand-knit alpaca.