Let's start be comparing alpaca fleece with wool from most breeds of sheep. In general, alpaca fiber is stronger, lighter, warmer, and more resilient. Finest grades of alpaca fiber (known commercially as "Baby Alpaca") are believed to be hypo-allergenic, meaning they do not irritate your skin as sheep's wool sometimes does. Unlike sheep's wool. alpaca fiber contains no lanolin and is therefore ready to spin after only nominal cleaning of the fleece. Prized for its unique, silky feel, and superb "handle", alpaca fiber is highly sought-after by both cottage-industry artists (hand spinners, knitters, weavers, ect.) as well as the commercial fashion industry.
One fact of alpaca fiber that makes it so much in vogue is its great variety of natural colors: pure white, several shades of fawn and brown, several shades of gray, and true black -- some 16 official colors with many other subtle shades and hues. White light fawn, and light gray can be readily dyed, thus offering a rainbow of colors for the fiber artist. Alpaca fiber can also be readily combined with other fine fibers like merino wool, cashmere, mohair, silk, and angora to attain incredibly interesting blends.