Owing to the high degree of hybridization in the alpaca (particularly from crosses with the llama) and the worsening of the conditions in which the animals are raised, the quality of the fibre produced by these animals has suffered a general deterioration. More than half the fibre produced in Perú is coarse (27 microns or more) and extremely variable. However, the international market for sophisticated textiles demands fine, uniform fibres, and is prepared to pay better prices for them.
At Pacomarca, work is being done to achieve the type of animal that has a high textile value, combining the most notable characteristics of alpaca fibre (fineness, uniformity, density, absence of guard hairs and kemps) with the ideal phenotypic balance (rounded heads covered with hair, well-proportioned bodies, and maximum fibre coverage on the limbs).
These animals, on attaining the age of majority (three years) should achieve a production of approximately 23% of Royal (finer than 19 microns), 30% of Baby (22 microns), 18% of Super Fine (26 microns), 11% of Huarizo (28 microns), 14% of Adult (30 microns) and 4% of Mixed Pieces. The Pacomarca ranch already has specimens with these characteristics and it is sought, with the modern tools that are being used (database, genetic appraisal and embryo transfer) to reproduce these specimens so that their descendants might help improve the production of fine fibre from the herds belonging to thousands of smallholding producers scattered across the vast territory of the Andes.