Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Day 1: Alpaca and Pima and Vicuna, Oh My!

Lima, Peru – Source4Style embarked on our first sourcing trip to South America today at Peru Moda – the annual gathering of the Peruvian fashion and apparel industry.

We scoured the floor for the latest sustainable materials coming out of this very rich textiles region. Here’s a quick sneak peek of what we found, and what you’ll be able to find on Source4Style in the coming months…

1. Alpaca, alpaca and… more alpaca.

We’ve long been searching for the world’s finest quality alpaca to join our local selection from Waite Hill Farms in upstate New York, and we have most definitely found it in Peru. Alpaca is a silky natural fiber that while similar to sheep’s wool is warmer, softer and more lightweight with unique thermal and hypoallergenic properties. We were even invited back for an Alpaca Fiesta in November, which looks more than intriguing…

2. Pima – Luxury, Long Staple Cotton

Also known as ELS – or Extra Long Staple – cotton, Pima is a luxurious and durable high-quality cotton native to Peru’s age-old cotton growing tradition. It is durable, absorbent and extremely soft. The perfect t-shirt dress material is on the way.

3. Tintes Naturales

We’ll be heading to Cuzco in a few days where we look forward to getting even closer to the source, but we got a sneak peek today of Cusco Textiles which is carrying on the ancient and sustainable craft of natural-dyed yarns, threads and fabrics. My question was how is the red so rich, without any use of chemicals or synthetics? The secret – a pinch of cochineal… we’ll report more from the source in Cuzco.

In addition to Peru Moda showcasing some of the best raw materials, the fashion from the country’s emerging designers is wide-reaching and impressive. We particularly had a soft spot for designer Clio, who made us fall even more in love with the fine alpaca fibre… if that’s even possible!

Stay tuned for the latest updates from our Day 2 at Peru Moda… we’re calling it a night with some alfajores.


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