Handknit in Bolivia, our baby llama wool beanie hat is less prone to piling thanks to its long wool fibers. Purl knit with cuff finish. Natural llama coat colors with no dyes. Available in Grey, Brown and Beige. Pairs with our matching Scarf. (
The uniform, tight purl stitch of this 100% baby llama wool beanie will keep your head cozy against drafts and chills. Designed in London, the hat is produced in Bolivia, which has an ancient tradition in knitting.
The llama is Bolivia’s national animal, emblazoned on the country’s flag. Every spring, shearers cut wool from llamas using motorized hand scissors. They are careful not to trim the coats too short so that the llamas stay warm; a process that produces a soft, long fiber that is less prone to pills.
The cut fleece is then sorted and graded according to length, quality and color. Wool is typically classified by microns, a measure that refers to the average fiber diameter (approximately one millionth of a meter): the smaller the count, the finer the fibers.
Baby llama wool is comparable to cashmere in its softness. The term “baby” refers to the classification group and the micron count (typically between 15 to 18) of the fibers taken from the animal—not necessarily if they were collected from a baby llama. In fact, it’s possible for much older llamas to continue to produce fibers that fall into the baby category.
Fibers from the shoulders, sides and back of the animal are typically used for this beanie hat, since those areas are less exposed to the wear and tear from native brush and grass.
The sorted fibers are washed and scoured to remove grease, dirt and other impurities to prepare for carding, combing and spinning. The finished yarn is then handknit into beanie hats.
Dry clean only. The fiber makeup of llama wool, with protein scales and a low build-up of static electricity, naturally repels dust and water and so necessary cleaning will be infrequent.
Llama fur is also naturally free of lanolin, a waxy substance secreted by the skin glands of sheep that causes allergies in some people and requires chemical processing to be removed from the material.
The company that produces these llama wool products (we also carry the matching scarf and pom pom hat) first started with the basic cotton t-shirt, a product with multiple production steps that bely its simplicity. The founder, armed with a background in production design from Central Saint Martins in London, traveled to Tanzania and documented the supply chain of a simple t-shirt. His journey started in Meatu and ended in Arusha, during which he met the organic cotton farmers and manufacturers behind the merchandise, and learned about each and every stage of production. It was this everyday cotton t-shirt and its complex journey that paved the way for the company to branch out into other clothing basics.
The design portion of the company is based in London and production takes place in La Paz, Bolivia, a country with an important knitting history begun by the indigenous Amerindian Aymara and Quechua tribes. The London-based brand aims to assist in preserving these traditions as well as bring trade and manufacturing opportunities to Bolivian shepherds and knitters.
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