Ethically Sourced | Proudly Handmade | Uniquely YOU
From feeding to fashion…all ‘PacaHat creations are entirely made by hand. We raise the animals here on our ranch high in the Rocky Mountains, we shear them – and unlike most hatters – we take that fleece and process it into the hat bodies BY HAND. We then get to work on the myriad of other steps that it takes to get a truly heirloom quality, custom produced, finished hat.
Unlike beaver or rabbit fur felts used to make other types of high-end, custom headwear – no animals are ever sacrificed to make a hat. Much like a haircut, alpaca are sheared annually to keep them comfortable throughout the summer heat. Next year in the late spring, they will give us an entirely new batch of fleece ready to be made into ‘PacaHats!
Due to the intense process used to make the raw fleece into felt, and the extreme amount of time it takes to craft each hat – we only produce 50 hats a year. We do, however, honor the concept of “giving back”, so additionally we reserve time to manufacture 5 more hats that we donate to worthy causes for their fund-raising efforts.
Alpaca are shaved once a year and the shaved coat is called a “blanket”
An average adult shaved blanket will weigh between 4 and 10 pounds
Alpaca fleece is 3x stronger, and has 85% greater wicking ability than wool
Alpaca fleece is warmer and softer than cashmere and hypo-allergenic
There are two types of alpaca – Huacaya (Wa-KEE-a) and Suri (Sur-E)
Alpacas have a life span of 15-20 years
Baby alpaca are called cria and weigh 10-17 pounds at birth
Alpacas are smaller than llamas and weight between 125-200 pounds
Alpaca “wool” is called fleece
Alpacas are a relative of the camel and part of the camelid family
Alpaca were domesticated by the ancient Incas
South America holds 98% of the alpacas world wide
Alpaca imports from Peru ended in 1998
Latest News & Notes
There is nothing custom about a small, medium, or large hat size. Those are standard sizing measurements. Those are NOT what custom hats are all about.
Let Us Help You Find The Perfect Hat!
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ #1 - What’s the difference between an alpaca and a llama?
We get asked this a lot. Two quick ways to tell the difference: Alpaca are smaller than llamas (alpacas are usually 100-150 pounds VS a llama at 300-400 pounds) and llama’s ears are “banana shaped.”
FAQ #2 - Do alpaca spit?
Not as much as llamas! Alpacas DO spit…but it’s usually at each other!
FAQ #3 - Do alpaca make noise?
YES! They make all kinds of weird sounds! They hum when they are happy and content. They grunt a warning when one of the herd tries to take their food. They “oggle” when they mate. They “chirp” like a car alarm when they see something that concerns them.
FAQ #4 - What do alpaca eat?
Alpacas have a 3 chamber stomach (compared to a horse or a cow, who have 4 chambers), therefore they primarily eat low protein hay and pasture grasses (preferably orchard and high mountain meadow grass). We do supplement with minerals and some specially formulated pellets. And, they don’t eat a lot – about 1.5% of their body weight daily…so a bale of hay can feed 10 alpaca for a couple days. They can also eat carrots, apples, lettuce, etc…but you have to feed them small portions so that they don’t choke.
FAQ #5 - Do you need a lot of land to have alpaca?
NO! You can have 4-6 alpaca on just an acre parcel. And, they are easy on the land since they don’t have hard hoofs.
FAQ #6 - Where can I get an alpaca?
Well – first we would tell you that you can’t get ONE…they are herd animals, so we’d advise that you get at least 3.
And, we would also tell you to decide whether you want males or females…because you need to keep them separate.
Call us – we’ll tell you what we know and help you get what you want.
FAQ #7 - Other than fiber production, what can you do with alpaca?
You can breed them and sell the offspring. You can show them. You can use their poop for fertilizer. You can even raise them for meat (although we haven’t tried any…and probably won’t!) Alpaca are classified as “domestic livestock”, so under the right circumstances they may allow you qualify for “agriculture status” discounts for tax purposes.
FAQ #8 - Are alpaca good pets?
It depends what you consider a “good” pet. They are not usually aggressive, but they also don’t like being petted and hugged very much (they especially hate having their head and ears touched!) They are “easy keepers”: don’t require much food, don’t require too much herd maintenance other than an annual shaving, teeth and toe trimming and a few yearly shots to keep them healthy. They also use a “community bathroom area“…so cleanup is pretty easy!
FAQ #9 - Can I wear my alpaca hat in the rain?
Remember what your momma said, “Just because you can; doesn’t mean you should!” Alpaca IS water resistant BUT excessive moisture will cause your hat to look less than pristine. If you do get your hat wet – fold back the leather sweat band and set your hat upside down or hang it to dry. You can then restore your hat’s shape by steaming it over a tea kettle. (In fact, you can do this over…and over…and over again.) You should be aware that sometimes hats – all hats – will get “rain stains” on them that can’t be removed. You should also know that there are clear plastic cowboy hat “rain coats” that you can get for under $10…and they are a pretty smart investment!
FAQ #10 - What does the XXX mean on a hat?
This is probably the biggest question everyone has…what do the Xs on hats stand for. The answer: depends on the hat and depends on the company that made it. The fact is that it means very little in comparison from one hat company to another. Years ago – 20X meant a hat was 100% fur felt, but over time different manufacturers have created different scales. 10X – 20x – 100X…they could mean the same thing. One thing is for certain…the more Xs you have the more you pay (kinda like women!)
FAQ #11 - How do you figure out your hat size?
It’s easy! Let’s take an example: If you have a 22 inch head – divide that circumference by 3.1416 and you’ll see that you wear a size 7 hat. If you get a size 7 hat and it’s a little tight, a hat jack will loosen it up for you. If it’s a little loose, there are foam sizers you can place under the brim. If you want it perfect…call a professional hatter! And yes, when you gain or lose weight your head size can change!