The alpaca fiber market is likely to grow at a significant rate over the forecast period owing to the expansion of the fashion and clothing industry across the globe. The eco-friendly properties associated with the product offer an opportunity for consumers to wear natural, soft, durable, and warm garments, which is likely to propel industry growth over the projected period. Rising consumer demand for natural fashion accessories and clothing is expected to have a positive impact on market growth.
The fibers obtained from Alpaca are considered as a special natural fiber, which is available in 22 shades. The product is found to be five times warmer than sheep wool. It is lightweight owing to the air pockets within these fibers, which also results in high thermal capacity. The product offers opportunities to manufacture extremely comfortable versatile winter clothing products. Furthermore, hypoallergenic properties associated with the product are likely to offer a competitive advantage over its synthetic counterparts over the projected period.
Rising awareness amongst consumers regarding the product benefits are expected to surge demand. Furthermore, rapidly augmenting alpaca fiber fashion stores is expected to offer easy accessibility of these products, thereby impacting the market on a positive note. However, the high cost of these apparels is expected to hinder the industry growth in developing regions.
Based on types, the alpaca fiber market is segmented as alpaca Suri and alpaca Huacaya. The fibers obtained from Suri breed are extremely smooth and are primarily used in lightweight woven applications. Whereas, the coat of Huacaya is shorter and curly. It is blended with Merino wool or other fibers for use in high fashion knitwear and overcoats. These products are also used to manufacture floor coverings, socks, gloves, or hats.
Based on application, the industry is segmented into toys, clothing, and rugs. In comparison to sheep wool, the type of wool obtained from alpacas can be made into a very fine yarn, thus finds application across several products. Rising product demand for manufacturing lightweight sportswear is likely to propel their demand over the projected period. These products are also gaining high popularity in cold regions for manufacturing of sweaters and scarfs.
As per the report by the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MINAGRI), Peru is the largest alpaca fiber producer, as it has 80% of the world’s alpaca population. The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur) specified that the country’s alpaca exports augmented by over 110% in 2017 within one year, with the rise of over 14% average per kilogram in the export price.
Peru is also the largest exporter of these fibers in the industry and the key destinations for its fiber exports are Italy and China. The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur) offered business opportunities in the industry and launched the luxury fashion brand “Alpaca del Peru” for the sale of high-quality alpaca fiber accessories and garments.
As the industry is escalating at a significant growth rate, major market players are targeting to produce alpaca fiber with advanced quality to attract more patrons. These manufacturers concentrate on alpaca nutrition to advance the quality of alpaca fiber. Furthermore, efforts undertaken by scientists to use various genetic tools to improve alpaca production and develop fiber quality is expected to drive the industry growth over the projected period.
North America is expected to account for a significant alpaca fiber market share on account of the rising popularity of these products amongst consumers. Furthermore, growing alpaca fiber clothing production in the U.S. coupled with the increasing number of retail outlets for these garments in the country are expected to drive industry growth over the projected period. Australia is likely to be a key potential market for the product owing to growing product penetration in the country to replace traditional winter clothing.
Asia has emerged as one of the major markets for stuffed and plush toys globally. Increasing population coupled with rising spending capabilities of the consumers is expected to drive demand for soft toys, which in turn is likely to have a positive impact on the industry growth. Europe is also likely to gain high product demand for soft and comfortable winter wears, thereby driving the industry growth over the projected period. High consumer spending capabilities coupled with favorable weather conditions in the region are expected to drive demand for alpaca fiber accessories over the forecast period.
The U.S. Alpaca Fiber Council assists the producers in the manufacturing, promotion, and marketability of these products. They also assist the manufacturers to improve the product quality and increase profitability in this market space. The prominent players of the market are Rowan, Plymouth Yarn, Putuco, Katia, Cascade Yarns, Malabrigo Yarn, AndeanSun, Berroco, Mary Maxim, Manos Del Uruguay, Louisa Harding, Alpaca Yarn Company, Classic Elite Yarns, Ella Rae, and Lion Brand Yarn.
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