Peru considered the alpaca industry so important to their community that the export of alpacas was banned until 1985 which saw the first exports to Australia, Britain and the USA. These early examples are not what you would see today and a pair, you could only buy them in pairs, were selling for £25,000 each!
The export ban was reintroduced shortly thereafter and not lifted again until around 1990 at which point many breeders had fallen in love with these enchanting animals and many major exports ensued forming the basis of many national herds and bloodlines that re still coveted today.
Their endearing qualities have quickly caught on and the market for alpacas continues to grow. We are still some way short of the numbers required to achieve a commercial fibre industry but we are certainly heading a good way towards it.