During the 14th century, the Inca treasured and worshipped the vicuña, their wild population exceeding one million.
However, the invasion by the Spanish conquistadors led to the population being no more than a few thousand in only 100 years, the Spanish poaching the vicuña for its fibre.
In 1825, new laws to protect the vicuña were introduced by the governor of Peru, Simon Bolivar. Despite this, the increasing availability of firearms meant the population was no more than 5,000 in 1960.
The vicuña was classified as a most threatened species by CITES in 1976, meaning all trade in the vicuña and its fibre was prohibited.
This intervention led to an increase in population, but it wasn't enough to ensure the population could be sustainably managed.
For this reason, in 1987, Peru successfully applied to lift some of the restrictions imposed by CITES, meaning fibre sheared from live vicuña could once more be traded.
This reintroduction of trade means Peruvian communities have a reason to protect and shear the vicuña, as they are rewarded financially so long as they pledge to protect the population.
The Chaccu is a ritual originating in Inca times, where as many as 30,000 people would head into the Andes with miles of rope. They would use the rope to form a circle around the herds of vicuña, before slowly walking together and closing the circle, forcing them into a pen.
It is within this pen that they would be gently sheared, under the watchful eye of the emperor, before being released back into the wild.
Andean communities still adopt the same tradition as their Inca ancestors, shearing the vicuña every two years in the celebrated Chaccu ceremony.
All of our products are made in Great Britain, where we have formed relationships with manufacturers all around the country.
Firstly, we spin the fibre into a yarn: this is a very delicate process which takes a lot of practice. The finished yarn is then knitted by hand into such products as scarves, socks, jumpers and gloves, amongst other desired articles.
Great Britain is notorious for the manufacturing of knitwear, so we are confident in our produce and can guarantee quality within all that we create.
We are committed to making sure every Vicuña Royale product is uniquely personal; designed exactly how you would like it, for you and nobody else.
We will work closely with you as you finalise your design, choose product sizes as well as advise you on any additional features which you may desire.
From the bespoke Vicuña Royale wooden packaging to the hand delivery by a chauffeur, we do not hesitate to go the extra mile in ensuring that you, our clients, are more than satisfied with your purchase.