Meet Illimani Yarn
Illimani Yarn is luxury fiber at an unbeatable price!
Illimani Yarn is a family owned company in Bolivia named after the beautiful Illimani ('the guardian of La Paz') mountain that overlooks La Paz, Bolivia.
Alvaro Echazu was born in Bolivia, in the valleys of the Andes. In 2000, he took a few months off to travel, visited Canada and decided to stay. He lives in Montreal with his wife Adriana and his two children, Sabrina-Amelia and Santiago-Felipe.
In 2004, Illimani began it's journey in the textile world in Montreal with a collection of clothing hand made by artisans from Peru and Alvaro's hometown in Bolivia using alpaca and llama. Many of the knitters, crocheters and weavers from the region continue to use the ancient traditional techniques and the products were produced under fair trade associations.
Fast forward to 2008. The financial crises was hurting businesses, particularly small companies in the extremely competitve fashion industry. During this time, Alvaro received a parcel with samples of alpaca yarn spun in Bolivia that claimed to have the softness as fine cashmere. These yarn samples coupled with the timing changed the focus of the business.
Alvaro was so impressed with the quality and softness of this yarn spun in Bolivia when compared to pure Baby Alpaca from Peru that he decided to switch the focus of the company from finished garments to unique yarns for hand knitters who can truly appreciate an exceptional yarn.
A few months later, Illimani imported their first and beloved yarn, Royal I.
Soon after, they brough in llama yarns, one of the most wonderful luxury fibers in the world. Illimani, along with thier spinner in El Alto, Bolivia, has not only helped in the success of the llama yarn industry, they've helped in improving the lives of many families and the development of the country.
Since then, Alvaro has focused on developing new yarns that are not found anywhere else in the world with competitive pricing. Illimani specializes in llama, alpaca, merino, cashmere, yak, silk and organic cotton. Alvaro's wife Adriana designs the yarn labels and crochets samples.
Santi I, named after his son Santiago-Felipe, is a sport weight super luscious blend of merino, baby alpaca, yak and silk - a truly unique combination. It's wonderfully soft, with a slight sheen, excellent stich defintion and amazing drape.
Sabri, named after his daughter Sabrina-Amelie, is a unique GOTS-cerified organic, cotton/alpaca blend that glides right off the needles. It's a wonderful non-wool alternative and perfect for trans-seasonal garments and accessories.
The alpaca, yak, merino and organic cotton are sourced and dyed in Bolivia and Peru. The silk is souced and dyed in Italy.
Illimani's mission is to contribute to the development of Bolivia and Peru. Their biggest supplier has fair trade certification and all of their suppliers provide good jobs and fair working conditions. Alvaro visits the spinners in Bolivia and Peru several times a year. They are all making a great impact in their regions and are being paid fair wages.
You'll love working with Illimani yarns! Also - it's great to know that you're supporting local aritsans in Bolivia and Peru.
Family-owned company, luxury yarns, unbeatable prices, produced under fair trade - what's not to love?