Non Conventional Fibres Association

Llama Fibre

Zoological Information

  • Llama (Llama Glama)is a camelid native to South America and are also found in USA and Canada.
  • It belongs to the Camelidae family like other camelids namely guanacos, vicuñas, and alpacas.
  • But it is known for being the largest of all the four camelids and friendly nature.
  • Llamas are domesticated from the wild guanacos which are sometimes fierce.
  • They are also known as ‘camels of clouds’, ‘Peruvian sheep’, and ’silent brother’.
  • There are two types of llamas, one of which is a light-fleeced animal known as Kcara, mainly used to carry loads, and the other, Chaku, is used for its heavy fleece/hair.
  • These camelids mostly live for 15-25 years, but some survive for 30 years or more.

Habitat and Fibre production

  • Llamas are primarily found in Andean plateaus and mountains in the South American region, mainly in Peru and Bolivia.
  • These herbivores mainly depend on the plants and vegetation in the surrounding area for their growth.
  • These social and gregarious animals are sheared after every two years. 
  • It consists of a double coat, the outer coarse guard hair, and a finer and softer undercoat.
  • The annual production of greasy fleece ranges from 2500-3300 tons, with 85-90% of grease-free hair.
  • The annual production of the llama fibre is from 2500-2700 tons and the yield per animal is around 2-5kgs.

Table 1. Physical & mechanical properties and chemical composition of areca nut fibres

Physical and Mechanical properties

Fibre Length


Fibre Diameter


When heated at 150oC for 60min, of the original value

Breaking strength


Elongation at break


The thermal shrinkage rate

In dry hot air


In boiling water


Chemical composition

High Sulfur content

It lacks natural oils and thus

No Lanolin is present

Features of the fibre

  • The fibre obtained from the llamas is very soft and light in weight.
  • Llama hair fibre is fine, warm, and strong.
  • Due to the absence of natural oils, one can directly obtain spinnable fibre straight out of the animal.
  • It is lanolin-free, a waxy substance present to condition and protect the hair.
  • The garments or made-ups are comfortable to wear and skin-friendly.
  • The fibres are naturally available in  22 different colors such as white, silver-white, black, dark brown, natural brown, reddish brown, gray, cinnamon, etc..
  • It has good affinity towards dyes but is sensitive to chemicals.
  • It has little to no elasticity but acts as a good insulator is stain-resistant  and piling resistant.
  • The moths can easily attack it and are less resistant to the sunlight.
  • The products made out of llama fibre the body moistures and odors.
  • It can be cleaned easily under moderate conditions.


  • The llama hair fibres are usually used winterwear such as blankets, scarves, vests, jackets, outer clothing, ponchos, etc. 
  • It is also used to make  ropes, fish flies, and batting for quilts.
  • The guard hairs are generally used for wall hangings, rugs, felts, etc.
  • Llama fibres are used in pure or blended form for producing knitwear and woven fabrics.