The best quality materials are the basis of Malo products. Among the most versatile and precious fibres is the baby llama, whose most remarkable virtue is the ability to insulate from the cold and dissipate excess heat at the same time. Brightness, resistance and softness make each garment made of baby llama wool special, elegant and also handy and extremely comfortable.
At the time of the Incas llamas were so important that no one, except for a small caste of devoted breeders, was allowed to breed them. If the alpaca garments were reserved exclusively for tribal chiefs, the llama ones provided the raw material for the rest of the community. It is a fibre with superior qualities in terms of warmth and resistance, it was used to make blankets, carpets, ropes and nets for common use. In addition to providing the wool, llamas were, and still are, considered special animals for their strength, people rode them to climb along the steep slopes of the Andes. Curiously, llamas were also used as guard animals to protect the flocks, very skilled in keeping wild dogs and foxes away. Perhaps precisely for this reason the Incan god Urcuchillay, protector of animals, was represented as a large multicoloured llama. In the first decades of the 1500s with the arrival of the Spanish conquerors, the llama population drastically decreased, the ancient breeding practices and many of the records on which the Inca shepherds carefully noted every detail about the life of their precious camelids, were lost and in a short time llamas were confined only in the most remote areas of the Andes far from the lands occupied by Western man. Today there are several million specimens between Peru and Bolivia, bred with great care for their precious wool and protected as an essential element of the local tradition.
Like many of the warmer fibres, the llama one has a hollow core, a feature that offers superior insulating qualities and lightness. The fibres coming from the mantle of adult llamas have a diameter of about 25-30 microns, measures comparable to those of many common types of wool but baby llama fibres are much thinner, with an ultra-soft, almost ethereal texture. By nature, knits made of llama have a high degree of resistance to stains. Laboratory tests have shown a high level of abrasion resistance and very high protection from ultraviolet light. The high altitude sun is the most demanding environment for exposure to UV rays and the llama garments were perfectly suited for use between the snow-capped peaks and the icy steppes of the Andean highlands. Today, the most sophisticated garments made of baby llama retain all the precious natural characteristics that have made this yarn known, warmth, resistance, softness, qualities to which Malo's craftsmanship gives a special touch.
Washing and care
As with all natural wools, hand washing is recommended also for baby llama. After soaking the garment in cold water and adding a tablespoon of mild soap, leave to rest for no more than fifteen minutes. Always avoid the use of a fabric softener. Do not squeeze the garment but place it gently on a dry cloth and let it dry away from direct heat sources.