This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Alpaca. The wooly hair of an animal of the camel tribe, which inhabit the mountainous districts of Chili and Peru. In appearance this wool is fine, white and glossy, from two to six inches in length. It retains that peculiar gloss and beauty after being woven into textures, which particularly distinguish it from other species of wool. Alpaca is shipped to this country in bales of seventy pounds each, and is assorted on arrival into eight qualities, each suitable for a particular grade of goods.
The earliest manufacture of the dust-defying Alpaca fabric was in Bradford, England, in 1832 by Sir Titus Sault, at which time the fabric was made with a worsted warp and Alpaca weft, and very heavy. At the present time it is known as a thin, shiny, double-fold dress fabric, usually black, with a fine cotton warp.