The Story Behind The Most Luxurious Fabric In Tailoring

Take a hike high into the Andean plains and you won’t have to cast your eye far before you catch sight of a vicuña. These doe-eyed, tawny coated creatures are cousins of the llama, protected from the elements by a fleece so fine that the Incas considered it to be cloth of gold.

why do vicuñas have such covetable coats?

The secret is that its incredibly fine hairs – finer even than cashmere – are covered in tiny interlocking scales which trap air. This ultra-lightweight insulating pocket keeps the vicuña snug come nightfall and makes it an ideal choice for clothing.

the process of weaving vicuna fibres into fabric

As such, it’s tended to be a material for scarves and other accessories – weaving it into a cloth suitable for suits has proved nearly impossible. But SCABAL has worked tirelessly to conquer this problem – introducing the world’s first 100 per cent worsted spun vicuña suiting cloth in 2008 – and now the delicate fleeciness of vicuña can be found in this season’s most desirable suiting collections.

As for the vicuña’s coat itself, it grows in two layers. One is composed of coarse, long and bristly fibres, the other of fine, short and dense ones. These fibres are downy – twice as fine as the finest sheep’s fibre – and varying from six to 12 microns. An adult vicuna produces 500g of fibres in two years but only half of that remains as clean fibres after scouring.


The New Vicuña Jacketings Collection

SCABAL’s brand new vicuña jacketings collection includes six luxurious designs crafted from 100% vicuña: three bold checks and three classic herringbones. Where the first vicuña jacketings came in a simple palette of black, blue and neutral, this latest collection is finished in shades of blue, burgundy and the caramel hues of natural vicuña.

Vicuna fibres makes for the finest fabric with unequalled softness and beauty. Once, it was only Incan royalty who had the privilege of wearing such finery. Thanks to SCABAL, it can now be part of the modern-day gentleman’s wardrobe, too.