what is vicuna and why is it so expensive

What exactly is Vicuna | Unravelling the mystery of vicuña | The Gold of the Andes

This material comes from a South American camelid, the Vicuna is one of the most expensive animal fibers on Earth. 

 

Known for its strength and softness, vicuña hair has been woven into luxurious fabrics since ancient times - and is still continued by Artisan tailors such as:

 

 

The Incas believed that it was a gift from Viracocha to help them against the cold Andean climate; they wore garments made with this fabric as protection against the freezing winds and icy snowstorms. 

 

It is lightweight, making it perfect for hunter-gatherers - and yet it has defensive properties against the cold, unlike any other fabric.

 

In modern times, these same properties make Vicuna an excellent choice for luxury winter clothing - because it will keep you incredibly warm during winter, despite being incredibly thin, which is one of the reasons why Vicuna is so expensive.

What is Vicuna Wool - The most expensive suit fabric in the world - Why is it so expensive?

The first question to answer is what is a Vicuna, to summarize both points, let’s hit you with a quick list that should answer all your questions. Here's why it's so expensive:

 

  1. Vicuña wool is one of the most expensive types of wool in the world (it’s worth more than gold)
  2. The vicuna is a wild South American camelid, that lives in the high Andes mountains
  3. It's illegal to hunt and kill vicunas because they are endangered animals, thus driving up the price even further
  4. They have long, soft hair that can be spun into fine yarns for sweaters and coats
  5. This type of wool has been used by many cultures throughout history including ancient Incas and Egyptians 
  6. There are only about 100,000 vicunas left on Earth today due to overhunting for their various uses.

 

So Vicunas (or in Spanish vicuña) are a relative of the Camel, and their wool is considered to be the highest quality wool out of any animal. They are often referred to as “vicuña Peru and Vicuna Chile” - as it is mainly the Peruvians who are known for creating it. It is also the national animal of Peru - and appears on their coat of arms.

 

A Brief history of Peruvian Vicuna 

Vicuna wool was worn by the Inca royalty, and as many as three million vicuña once inhabited the harsh mountain regions of Peru. Vicunas are an important part of Incan history, and only royals were allowed to wear their fleeces or kill the creatures.

 

When Spanish conquistadors arrived, they utilized superior weapons to capture "the silk of the new world," which they used as cushions for King Philip II's sofas—and when shearing became more widespread in centuries that followed, vicuñas were hunted rather than shorn.

 

This led to a huge decrease in Vicuna numbers, and now they are endangered. There is a government program in place in Peru known as “Chacu” - this labels all the yarns which have been created legally, and ensures that the animal itself is shorn and then released back into the wild.

 

There is still a huge illegal portion of trade, but real fashion houses such as Kiton buy 100% Chacu Vicuna Peru.

 

How much does Vicuna cost and Why is vicuna wool so expensive?

The main reason that Vicuna is so expensive is that it can only be gathered from an adult Vicuna once every 2 years. They are also endangered and often killed and stripped of their pelts. This drives the legal trade of Vicuna higher and higher in price. 

 

Each Vicuna only creates about 0.5kg of wool every 2 years.

 

The cost of one yarn of Vicuna is $1800-$3000 depending on a couple of factors.

 

A good place to start would be a Kiton Suit.

 

Kiton is one of the best suit brands in the world - and their Vicuna is 100% genuine.

Is Vicuna wool treated?

 

Due to its incredible sensitivity to chemicals, Vicuna Wool is normally left untreated, and will therefore retain its original color. What color is Vicuna Wool naturally, you might ask, well the graceful, exotic animal has long white fleece that hangs from its lower flanks and the base of its neck. The vicuña is covered with a remarkably long, fine, soft coat that varies in color from light cinnamon to pale whiteness. 

 

Why is Vicuna so desirable, and what properties does it have?

People often desire fine fabrics, and Vicuna is one of the finest fabrics there is. But if it’s fine, is Vicuna also warm? It also has scales on its hollow, air-filled fibres which trap and insulate air.

 

This essentially means you can wear a thinner coat and still be warm. This is what makes it such an incredible and unique fabric compared to others. 

 

It is the finest material in the world - and because of its endangered status, the price has only gone up and up.

 

There are some cuts of Vicuna fabric that are worth millions of dollars.

How expensive is Vicuna compared to Cashmere or Wool and Is vicuña softer than cashmere?

 

About 12 tonnes of Vicuna is produced every year, compared to 25,000 tonnes of cashmere. Per kilo, Vicuna can cost up to $600, whereas cashmere is about $85. Obviously wool is the cheapest, and only costs about $6. Therefore Vicuna is about 10 times more expensive than it’s closest comparison point, cashmere. Vicuna is softer but also warmer than Cashmere, hence why it's considered to be a better fabric. Also, the animal that Vicuna comes from is endangered, thus making it even more expensive.

 

“It is seen as the finest and most luxurious of these fibers and it’s very exceptional to see 100 percent vicuña as it’s so expensive.”

 

Pascaline Wilhelm

 

Another expensive material is Crocodile Leather - which is just as desirable but used for different things. Where Vicuna is used for coats, sweaters, and suits, crocodile leather is often used for accessories such as bags etc.

 

Where can I buy Vicuna Camel designer clothes for a good price?

Also known as a camel blazer or camel hair blazer, IsuiT - Italian Luxury has a fantastic collection of Vicuna.

 

Although it is very rare to see real, legally-produced Vicuna, for your eyes only (and because IsuiT is a dealer in such fine fabrics) here’s a collection of Kiton Vicuna, just for you, which can be bought from IsuiT at a great price:

Vicuña suits

Isaia Isaia Multicolor Cashmere Vicuna Blazer Multicolor 000 Isaia Isaia Multicolor Cashmere Vicuna Blazer Multicolor 001
€1,955.00 Regular Price €5,750.00
Isaia Isaia Green Cashmere Vicuna Argentina Blazer Green 000 Isaia Isaia Green Cashmere Vicuna Argentina Blazer Green 001
€1,955.00 Regular Price €5,750.00
Kiton Kiton Blue Vicuna Peru Silk Blazer Blue 000 Kiton Kiton Blue Vicuna Peru Silk Blazer Blue 001
€20,251.00 Regular Price €28,930.00
Kiton Kiton Multicolor Cashmere Vicuna Perù Silk Blazer Multicolor 000 Kiton Kiton Multicolor Cashmere Vicuna Perù Silk Blazer Multicolor 001
€5,050.50 Regular Price €7,215.00
Kiton Kiton Multicolor Cashmere Vicuna Perù Silk Blazer Multicolor 000 Kiton Kiton Multicolor Cashmere Vicuna Perù Silk Blazer Multicolor 001
€5,537.00 Regular Price €7,910.00
Kiton Kiton Multicolor Cashmere Vicuna Argentina Blazer Multicolor 000 Kiton Kiton Multicolor Cashmere Vicuna Argentina Blazer Multicolor 001
€5,113.50 Regular Price €7,305.00
Kiton Kiton Multicolor Cashmere Vicuna Perù Silk Blazer Multicolor 000 Kiton Kiton Multicolor Cashmere Vicuna Perù Silk Blazer Multicolor 001
€5,050.50 Regular Price €7,215.00
Kiton Kiton Red Blue Cashmere Vicuna Argentina Blazer Red / Blue 000 Kiton Kiton Red Blue Cashmere Vicuna Argentina Blazer Red / Blue 001
€5,117.00 Regular Price €7,310.00
Kiton Kiton Multicolor Cashmere Vicuna Argentina Blazer Multicolor 000 Kiton Kiton Multicolor Cashmere Vicuna Argentina Blazer Multicolor 001
€5,117.00 Regular Price €7,310.00
Kiton Kiton Blue Vicuna Peru Cashmere Silk Blazer Blue 000 Kiton Kiton Blue Vicuna Peru Cashmere Silk Blazer Blue 001
€13,499.50 Regular Price €19,285.00
Kiton Kiton Red Blue Vicuna Peru Cashmere Silk Blazer Red / Blue 000 Kiton Kiton Red Blue Vicuna Peru Cashmere Silk Blazer Red / Blue 001
€13,499.50 Regular Price €19,285.00
Kiton Kiton Red Vicuna Peru Cashmere Silk Blazer Red 000 Kiton Kiton Red Vicuna Peru Cashmere Silk Blazer Red 001
€13,499.50 Regular Price €19,285.00

A Vicuna Suit is the height of luxury, and will make you feel like a king or queen. You will be the only person in the room with one, that’s for sure. This exclusive material is the starting point for any Classic Menswear enthusiast who is looking to add something new and unique to their collection. It's incredibly rare to find a one hundred percent Vicuna suit, however, IsuiT does have some!

 

If you want to look like a Billionaire, then this is a piece for you.

Vicuña overcoats and coats

Kiton Kiton Blue Cashmere Silk Vicuna Peru Overcoat Blue 000 Kiton Kiton Blue Cashmere Silk Vicuna Peru Overcoat Blue 001

-20% extra at the checkout

€5,516.00 Regular Price €7,880.00
Kiton Kiton Brown Vicuna Peru Cashmere Overcoat Brown 000 Kiton Kiton Brown Vicuna Peru Cashmere Overcoat Brown 001

-20% extra at the checkout

€23,100.00 Regular Price €33,000.00
Kiton Kiton Green Vicuna Peru Cashmere Overcoat Green 000 Kiton Kiton Green Vicuna Peru Cashmere Overcoat Green 001

-20% extra at the checkout

€23,100.00 Regular Price €33,000.00
Kiton Kiton Blue Vicuna Peru Cashmere Overcoat Blue 000 Kiton Kiton Blue Vicuna Peru Cashmere Overcoat Blue 001

-20% extra at the checkout

€23,100.00 Regular Price €33,000.00
Kiton Kiton Blue Cashmere Vicuna Peru Overcoat Blue 000 Kiton Kiton Blue Cashmere Vicuna Peru Overcoat Blue 001

-20% extra at the checkout

€6,139.00 Regular Price €8,770.00
Kiton Kiton Blue Cashmere Vicuna Peru Overcoat Blue 000 Kiton Kiton Blue Cashmere Vicuna Peru Overcoat Blue 001

-20% extra at the checkout

€6,139.00 Regular Price €8,770.00
Kiton Kiton Black Cashmere Vicuna Peru Overcoat Black 000 Kiton Kiton Black Cashmere Vicuna Peru Overcoat Black 001

-20% extra at the checkout

€6,139.00 Regular Price €8,770.00
Kiton Kiton Brown Cashmere Vicuna Peru Overcoat Brown 000 Kiton Kiton Brown Cashmere Vicuna Peru Overcoat Brown 001

-20% extra at the checkout

€6,139.00 Regular Price €8,770.00
Kiton Kiton Blue Cashmere Vicuna Peru Overcoat Blue 000 Kiton Kiton Blue Cashmere Vicuna Peru Overcoat Blue 001

-20% extra at the checkout

€6,139.00 Regular Price €8,770.00
Kiton Kiton Dark Gray Cashmere Vicuna Peru Silk Overcoat Dark Gray 000 Kiton Kiton Dark Gray Cashmere Vicuna Peru Silk Overcoat Dark Gray 001

-20% extra at the checkout

€16,835.00 Regular Price €24,050.00
Kiton Kiton Brown Vicuna Peru Cashmere Silk Overcoat Brown 000 Kiton Kiton Brown Vicuna Peru Cashmere Silk Overcoat Brown 001

-20% extra at the checkout

€25,252.50 Regular Price €36,075.00
Kiton Kiton Black Cashmere Vicuna Peru Overcoat Black 000 Kiton Kiton Black Cashmere Vicuna Peru Overcoat Black 001

-20% extra at the checkout

€6,139.00 Regular Price €8,770.00

An overcoat is a great way to show off your wealth and style, and there is no better fabric to do it than Vicuna. However, be warned now - this is incredibly warm, and should only be worn in Arctic climates, otherwise you're honestly going to be too hot.

 

These coats are incredibly expensive, and exceedingly rare, and we are proud to show off our collection of Vicuna overcoats.

Vicuna Sweaters 

Kiton Kiton Beige 100% Vicuna Argentina Sweater Crewneck Beige 000 Kiton Kiton Beige 100% Vicuna Argentina Sweater Crewneck Beige 001

-30% extra at the checkout

€8,800.00 Regular Price €22,000.00
Kiton Kiton Brown 100% Vicuna Bolivia Sweater Crewneck Brown 000 Kiton Kiton Brown 100% Vicuna Bolivia Sweater Crewneck Brown 001

-30% extra at the checkout

€7,466.00 Regular Price €18,665.00
Kiton Kiton Brown 100% Vicuna Bolivia Sweater Crewneck Brown 000 Kiton Kiton Brown 100% Vicuna Bolivia Sweater Crewneck Brown 001

-30% extra at the checkout

€9,040.00 Regular Price €22,600.00
Kiton Kiton Brown 100% Vicuna Sweater Turtle Neck Brown 000 Kiton Kiton Brown 100% Vicuna Sweater Turtle Neck Brown 001

-30% extra at the checkout

€9,576.00 Regular Price €23,940.00
Kiton Kiton Burgundy Beige 100% Vicuna Sweater Crewneck Burgundy / Beige 000 Kiton Kiton Burgundy Beige 100% Vicuna Sweater Crewneck Burgundy / Beige 001

-30% extra at the checkout

€9,486.00 Regular Price €23,715.00
Kiton Kiton Brown White Vicuna Sweater Crewneck Brown / White 000 Kiton Kiton Brown White Vicuna Sweater Crewneck Brown / White 001

-30% extra at the checkout

€9,486.00 Regular Price €23,715.00
Kiton Kiton Brown 100% Vicuna Sweater Half Zip Brown 000 Kiton Kiton Brown 100% Vicuna Sweater Half Zip Brown 001

-30% extra at the checkout

€8,076.00 Regular Price €20,190.00
Kiton KITON Brown Vicuna Sweater Brown 000 Kiton KITON Brown Vicuna Sweater Brown 001
€3,204.00 Regular Price €8,010.00

The final piece we have made from 100% Vicuna are our sweaters. Just like the suits and overcoats, these are only for those who have the funds available - but they are worth it. They are some of the softest, most luxurious sweaters you will ever own.

 

IsuiT has a wide range of sizes, colors and styles to choose from

 

Vicuna Compositions

 

If you don't want to fork out thousands for a suit or sweater made from pure Cashmere, another option would be to get something that contains vicuna but is not made entirely from the fabric

 

Vicuna is often blended with other materials such as Cashmere, Silk or Wool to make a more affordable product that still contains some of the luxurious vicuna fibers

 

IsuiT - Italian Luxury has a great range of these products, which are much more affordable but still offer a lot of protection against winter weather.