Putting Peru on the map as a key source of textile raw materials for the top end of the fashion trade is the current preoccupation of Milan-based yarn spinner Industria Ambrosiana Filati, probably better known in the trade as Iafil.

The company recently launched Pima cotton. This is hand picked and hand spun in Peru and is now being promoted in Iafil's Genesis range as a year-round material, offering winter warmth without weight. And the latest addition to its range is baby alpaca, again sourced in Peru.

As well as 100 per cent baby alpaca, which Iafil describes as "a supremely soft" fibre, the company will be introducing blends of alpaca with both standard wools and Merino extra fine. The yarns come in natural, undyed shades which range from creamy beige through caramel tones to rich brown, and both the 100 per cent alpaca. The blends will be offered dyed to a full range of fashion shades.

By Sonia Roberts.