I reviewed, fact checked and updated this post on May 14, 2023.
Table Of Contents
- What Is It?
- What Do You Use It For?
- Common Blends Using This Fiber
- Where To Find It
- Interesting Facts
What Is Llama Yarn?
It’s an animal fiber sold at expensive prices. This fiber is rare, but it’s strong, warm, water resistant, and wicks away moisture. They’re soft and great for winter garments. It’s available in beautiful natural colors like browns and creams.
Where It Comes From
It’s made from the hair of llamas, which are domesticated pack animals native to South America. Most of the llama population lives in Peru. They’re the cousin of the alpaca, and it’s difficult to tell the difference between llamas and alpacas.
It’s made with the soft under fleece of these animals, not the guard hairs. The often dark brown guard hair is too rough. However, the outer coat is thick and durable, great for making rope and other hardwearing items.(2)
Just like camel yarns it is often found in the natural colors of the animal.
Here’s a video by Humming Along With Llamas interviewing people who knit with this wool.
This excellent breakdown of this subject will help you!
How It’s Made Into Yarn
The animals are sheared once a year, and the fiber is cleaned and processed into yarn.
How To Wash This Yarn
Here are the care instructions for llama fibers.
- Hand wash in cool water with a mild soap
- Lay flat to dry
Always check the yarn label for instructions specific to the yarn you’re using.
Does It Shrink When Washed?
No, llama fiber is resilient.
How To Soften This Yarn
Here is a quick and easy method to soften this yarn.
- Fill a sink or basin with cool water and add a small amount of fabric softener
- Soak in the mixture for at least 30 minutes
- Rinse thoroughly in cool water
- Lay flat to dry
Washing it after you’ve finished knitting always helps!
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What Do You Use It For?
Wondering whether you should use it to make a project? Here’s why this fiber is used to make yarn. It’s often used for projects and things like fine shawls, scarves, hats, sweaters, gloves, socks, blankets, throws, accessories, and clothing.
Here is a video tutorial by Perfectly Knotty on tips for using this fiber.
The information in this video on knitting with this yarn will be a great help!
Common Blends Using Llama Fiber
Here is a list of common blends using this yarn, and why they’re created.
- Llama/Sheep Wool – Adds extra warmth and softness.
- Llama/Acrylic – Add extra durability and resistance to stretching
- Llama/Cashmere – Adds extra softness
Where To Find It
Here’s where to find this yarn: at a yarn store or craft stores in your area, or in online brand shops. Here are brands or manufacturers of llama yarns to try: Granite Haven, and Karabella La Llama.
What’s The Price Like? There are always factors to consider when determining this, cost of production and demand. Llama fiber is a luxury fiber.
Interesting Facts About Llama Wool
Want to know some fascinating tidbits about this material? Impress your friends with these.
- The llama can carry 200 pounds for 12 hours a day
- Llamas are used to transport goods over long distances
- Llamas stick their tongues out when they are angry
- They were first domesticated around 7,000 years ago(1)
- While Alpacas are more popular for farming, some people keep llamas with them, even in Australia! I visited one such alpaca farm with a resident llama(4)
- The nanobodies in their immune systems are being reproduced artificially in research for treating diseases like crystal fibrosis(3)
FAQS About Llama Yarn
Is Llama Yarn Safe For Babies?
Yes, it is.
Is Llama Wool Ethical & Eco-Friendly?
The animals are not harmed in the shearing process, and the fiber is biodegradable.
What Can I Make With Leftover Llama Wool?
You can make anything you want! Some ideas include: pillows, toys, rugs, dolls, baskets, and wall hangings.
Is Llama Wool Itchy?
No, it’s not. It’s considered to be one of the softest fibers available, and it doesn’t contain lanolin, like sheep’s wool.
Is Llama Fiber Good For Clothes?
Yes, it is. It’s often used to make winter garments because it’s warm and water resistant.
Is Llama Wool Good For Winter?
Yes, it is. It’s warm, water resistant, and the hollow core of the fiber wicks away moisture.
Is Llama Yarn Good For Summer?
Llama wool is a great choice for summer garments because it’s lightweight and breathable.
Do Llama Yarns Pill?
It’s less likely to pill than other fibers.
Can You Dye Llama Yarns?
Yes, you can, though it comes in many natural colors.
Is Llama Or Alpaca Wool Better?
It depends on what you’re looking for. They’re both soft, strong fibers with similar properties.
Happy crocheting or knitting! Hope you enjoyed this article. Do you have questions? Please leave them below!
- “Know Your Fiber: Llama.” n.d. Northwest Yarns. Accessed October 15, 2022. https://nwyarns.com/blogs/northwest-yarns/know-your-fiber-llama.
- “Llama Fiber.” n.d. Naturalknitting. Accessed October 15, 2022. https://www.knittingthenaturalway.com/llama.
- “Llamas Are Having a Moment in the US, but They’ve Been Icons in South America for Millennia.” 2021. The Blue Review. March 8, 2021. https://www.boisestate.edu/bluereview/llamas-are-having-a-moment-in-the-us-but-theyve-been-icons-in-south-america-for-millennia/.
- Doherty, Megan. 2022. “Head to Murrumbateman for an Alpaca – or Llama – Selfie at Blackwattle Alpaca Farm.” The Canberra Times, October 14, 2022. https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7942885/no-need-to-alpaca-your-bags-with-this-tourism-experience-just-up-the-road/.