About Altiplano Llama Outerwear Collection

Altiplano Unisex: Llama Outerwear Clothing
Altiplano Insulation, Inc. is dedicated to producing clothing of all natural 100% llama fiber in styles that appeal to American tastes and lifestyles. Llama fiber provides comfort and performance superior to sheep's wool and synthetics.

Llama fabric and the Alpamayo design's special features all combine to say "warmth" in the most versatile line of outerwear. Whether you're mountaineering, skiing, or simply staying busy closer to home, the Alpamayo's jacket, vest, and pullover can all enhance the quality of your time in the outdoors.  We look at these products as "Survival Essentials" for many reasons.  

Altiplano Womens: Llama Wear for Women
Once you've savored the luxurious coziness of the Llama Crop Jacket, Long Coat and Knit Vest, you might smile at the thought of brisk weather. You can be particular about style, but not about maintenance, with these beautiful designs that are delightfully warm and easy to live with.

Altiplano Advantages: Llama Fiber - The Superior Alternative
Llama fiber offers an attractive alternative to synthetics, sheep's wool, or down for outerwear protection. This all natural fiber provides enduring protection for conditions ranging from cool to cold, wet, and nasty. Whether in the city or the backcountry, inside or out, its comfort, good looks, and performance are remarkable.

Llama Fiber Advantages Over Wool:

  • Greater fiber strength
  • Hollow fiber, warmer (weight/weight)
  • Lower incidence of allergic reactions
  • Naturally softer hand
  • Naturally washable, doesn't shrink
  • Superior comfort range
  • Doesn't pill

Llama Fiber Advantages Over Synthetics

  • Superior comfort range, naturally regulates body moisture
  • Superior insulation, hollow fiber is significantly warmer (weight/weight)
  • Warm when wet
  • Won't mat or pill
  • Naturally windproof
  • Flame resistant, doesn't melt
  • Low static electricity, doesn't attract and hold lint and hair
  • Stain resistant
  • Naturally antimicrobial, doesn't hold odors
  • All natural and biodegradable
  • Natural colors give superior eye appeal
  • Fabric is silent, doesn't rustle or chafe

Llama vs. Down
Down is a superior insulator because of its high warmth/ weight ratio, However other qualities of down limit its effectiveness and dependability. Down is a fill material and dependent on a fabric shell to hold it together so it can assume its loft and provide insulation. Typically, synthetic fabric is used for the garment shell because it is durable and tightly woven to limit escape of individual feathers. However, this synthetic shell greatly reduces breathing and wicking, producing a garment that is quite warm, but can only be worn at very cold temperatures or it causes perspiration. A shell made from a natural fiber such as cotton addresses the breathing and wicking issue, but doesn't wear well, allows moisture penetration, and uses body heat to dry. Down also clumps and mats when wet and doesn't regain its original loft upon drying, thus losing a significant amount of its insulating qualities. This limits its use to dry conditions which are not predictable in outdoor use. Dry cleaning down is necessary and expensive. Longevity of down garments is limited because of escapes, fabric tears, and clumping that reduce insulating effectiveness and garment appearance.

Though down enjoys a better warmth/weight ratio than llama fabric, llama has none of the other drawbacks of down. Llama fabric is more comfortable than down because its naturally soft texture eliminates stiff, noisy shell fabric typically encasing down fill as well as the distracting puffiness and chafing common to down filled garments. The wicking and breathing qualities of the llama fabric impart an impressive comfort range that greatly reduces the overheating that is common to down outerwear. The fact that the hollow llama fiber inherently retains its loft and will not compress with use as well as being washable gives these garments a longer effective life and simpler, less expensive care and maintenance requirements, compared with down. The llama garments perform at a higher level of dependability under a wider range of conditions because their performance is not affected by moisture.

Outerwear Care:
Llama fiber has a natural cleanliness and resistance to staining that requires less cleaning and maintenance than other fibers. It has a very low level of static electricity so it doesn't attract and hold lint and hair. It is very resilient and maintains its good looks even with frequent wear and/or heavy use. It doesn't mat or pill. Washing a llama fiber garment revitalizes and raises the nap of the fabric.

When cleaning is required, the garment may be dry-cleaned or washed. 
For best results:
  • Wash the garment separately, in cold water, by hand or on the gentle cycle of your washing machine.
  • Use mild laundry soap or shampoo.
  • Press out excess water and lay flat, without wrinkles, on a flat, absorbent surface for drying.
  • Do not wring wet garment or hang wet garment to dry.
  • Do not use hot air or warm dryer cycle for drying.
  • Do not use hot or warm water or bleach in the laundering process. Llama fiber has less scale than sheep's wool and is less prone to shrinkage as a result.
  • However, hot water should be avoided. Wrinkles present when wet will take longer to disappear in the course of normal wear and should be taken out early in the drying process by blocking when laying out to dry.

Altiplano Green Advantages: 
Llama Wear - Green Clothing

Our Philosophy: Garments from Altiplano Insulation are meant to last. Styling is timeless and traditional, so the look is as enduring as the fabric. Construction is exacting, so each garment provides years of service, even in harsh conditions. Materials are 100% sustainable and manufacturing processes are earth-friendly, so our garments, our company and our customers have the lowest impact on the environment. And value is unparalleled-our garments are designed to be enduring classics that are worn proudly, year after year.

Llama fiber is an all-natural, biodegradable, renewable product. It is shorn annually from the llama, a native of the altiplano (high plain, 10,000'-14,000') region of the Andes Mountains of South America. The fiber is hand-shorn annually by native growers, processed chemical free, and spun and woven into yarns and fabrics that are sewn into garments by local mills. This continues a centuries-old industry that allows the natives to enjoy a greater level of stability by selling into today's world economy.
The llama is a domestic camelid species, raised for centuries by the native Quechua peoples for food, fiber, and transportation. At present llama fiber is underutilized and contributes primarily to a subsistent native economy. Llamas and alpacas are the only domestic species well-adapted to, and compatible with, the harsh yet fragile altiplano environment.

Green/Sustainable Advantage of Llama Fiber:

  • Llama fiber is sustainable because it is produced as a by-product of a natural environment and is harvested with minimal damage to that environment and the llamas that produce it. There is no petroleum consumed as a fiber substrate or energy input in its production.
  • The fiber is hand-shorn annually by native growers, processed chemical free, and spun and woven into yarns and fabrics that are sewn into garments by local mills. Only finished product that is exported requires significant transportation.
  • A natural product, llama fiber is biodegradable, eliminating the ultimate disposal problem common to any synthetic fabric whether derived from recycled sources or directly from petroleum.
  • Because llama fiber does not require chemicals in processing or production, the industrial impact on the environment is minimal and assures sustainability.
  • Llama fiber is organically produced. The animals are indigenous to the altiplano and browse native plants with great efficiency. Because they are a natural part of the ecology of the region, llamas have a healing effect on the land which is in need of restoration after centuries of exploitation by colonial species.
  • The Quechua culture (the Incas are probably the most notable ethnicity) was highly developed prior to the Spanish conquest of the Andean region. The llama played a prominent role in the region's pre-conquest culture and economy. Colonization displaced these people, their culture, and their economy and they remain marginalized today. Establishment of a market for llama fiber and the textile/clothing production associated with it offers an opportunity for these people to reinstate a part of their native culture in a manner that is compatible with their environment and allows their participation in a viable, sustainable economy.

Maintenance and Longevity
Llama fiber is very strong and easy to clean. It is washable and air dries quickly. The fiber generates little static electricity and is naturally clean minimizing the frequency of washing, thus maintenance requirements of llama fiber garments are quite low.
The fabric generates little static electricity. Thus, it is naturally clean and doesn't require frequent washing. It is naturally stain resistant and naturally antimicrobial so it doesn't hold odors. The fabric is very durable and resilient, it doesn't mat or pill, and is washable.

Green/Sustainable Advantage of Llama Fiber:

  • Being washable, the need for dry cleaning is eliminated as well as the harmful chemicals that process employs.
  • The fabric's natural cleanliness requires infrequent laundering using cold water. The garments are quickly dried simply by laying flat. This significantly reduces the water and energy consumption that are part of the washing and drying processes for other fibers, especially cotton. This quality is particularly important as approximately 1/3 of energy consumption/emissions attributed to clothing occurs in washing and drying.
  • The fiber performs at an optimal level for the life of the garment. The fabric's performance is a result of the natural properties of the fiber and is not dependent on chemical treatments or coatings. The coatings and treatments common to enhanced fibers (synthetic or natural) can wear off and compromise a garment's function or weaken the fiber and shorten its life.
  • The fabric is quite resilient and maintains its good looks for the lifetime of the garment. Because the fabric will not mat or pill, its appearance remains unchanged with wear, time, and cleaning. This eliminates premature retirement of a serviceable garment solely because of surface appearance.
  • Altiplano garments endure fashion trends. We employ traditional designs and natural colors that are neutral and won't fade and will span fashion trends, limiting garment dating.
Comfort and Appearance
Llama fiber has a fine diameter and low scale which give fabrics a naturally soft hand and luxurious feel and they move silently. The llamas produce fiber in an array of natural colors that are rich looking, all-natural, and won't fade. Basic neutral colors incorporated with traditional designs give garments a long fashion life and they coordinate well.
Comfort and appearance are paramount in producing green clothing. No matter how environmentally friendly or high performance a garment is, if it's not comfortable and good looking, it won't be worn. The result is that resources invested in producing that clothing are wasted. Our llama outerwear is noted for its comfort and good looks. Dehaired llama fiber has a fine diameter and low scale which give it a naturally soft hand and a luxurious feel. The llama produces fiber in an array of rich colors that impart a natural luster unmatched in synthetic textiles. Our designs are traditional, functional, and time-tested for comfort. We use the natural colors (we do use an overdye on our true black fabric) of the llama's fleece to produce basic, neutral colored fabric. These neutral colors endure fashion trends and coordinate well with colorful accessories.

Green/Sustainable Advantage of Llama Fiber:
  • Llama fiber has a natural softness and low scratch. These qualities eliminate the need for the "super washing" process associated with Merino sheep's wool. This process of treating with chemical agents is required to reduce the itch and shrink common to wool fabrics because of their more prominent scale.
  • Llama clothing is naturally hypoallergenic. It is a dry fiber and contains no lanolin so it doesn't have to be subjected to the heavy scouring that sheep's wool requires. Lanolin itself and the required scouring agents can both contribute to wool allergies.
  • Because llama fiber provides superior insulation and moisture regulation, the weight and encumbrance of extra layering garments and the clamminess associated with synthetics is eliminated. Not adding, shedding, or carrying layering garments as air temperature fluctuates also saves time and space.
  • The llama's natural fiber color maintains its rich luster for the life of the garment and eliminates the dyeing process and the dyeing agents it employs.
  • A comfortable garment is worn preferentially resulting in protracted use until the piece is worn out thus reducing the number of garments purchased over time. The comfort and resilience of these pieces assures they won't be discarded prematurely for the sake of change or diminished appearance.

Customers consistently mention the performance characteristics they've experienced while wearing our products. There are a number of qualities that contribute to llama fiber's superior performance.
Llama fiber is hollow and provides superior insulation on a warmth/weight comparison with other fibers, especially synthetics. A jacket of llama fabric will provide a comfort range of 50+ degrees while a comparable layer of synthetic will provide a 15-20 degree range. Llama fiber's remarkable ability to self-regulate body moisture (often referred to as breathing and wicking) allows this wide insulation range without overheating or perspiring. The hydrophobic qualities of petroleum-derived synthetics trap perspiration next to the skin. This fact, coupled with synthetics' low insulating capacity, produce a much narrower comfort range in which the wearer is both comfortably warm and perspiration free.
Llama garments can be comfortably worn in snowy, damp, or blustery conditions. The fabric is not waterproof, but sheds moisture well, is warm when wet, and dries quickly. Because of its ability to regulate body moisture, it keeps the wearer drier than many waterproof fabrics that cause internal saturation from perspiration. Though the fabric is not wind proof, it does provide a high degree of wind resistance. Being an animal fiber, llama fiber is flame retardant and self-extinguishing. The fiber may singe, but won't melt, ignite, or support a flame.

Green/Sustainable Advantage of Llama Fiber:

  • Reduction of clothing layers, versatility of garments in diverse climates and conditions, and traveling lighter are positive by-products of these performance qualities.
  • The hollow fiber insulates with undiminished capacity throughout the lifetime of a garment because it is unaffected by compression, wear, or age clothing has a high degree of safety when wearing near open flame. A garment won't be irreparably harmed by incidental contact with flame or ember.
  • Llama fiber is a product for our time and Winter Outfitters is excited to act as an intermediary, bringing this superior product from Andean producers to conscientious consumers looking for ways to tread lightly and live with a greater sense of awareness. We believe you will find our products to be an unparalleled combination of highest quality, versatile performance, luxurious comfort, resilient low-maintenance, and low impact production. We look forward to more people experiencing these qualities as they wear our garments.