The South American camelids comprise four forms; the alpaca, the llama, the vicuna, and the guanaco. All live in the high altitudes of the Andes. Like the Afro-Asian camel, these four are pseudo-ruminants; unlike true ruminants they have only three stomachs rather than four. The llama is a domestic animal that has lived with humans since time immemorial.

The coat of the llama protects it not just from the cold but also from the heat. Although it does not contain lanolin like sheep';s wool, the density of the coat protects it from the rain too.

Llama fibre is hollow (technically is not a 'wool') with a series of diagonal walls through its structure that makes it very light, strong and insulating. It is also superbly soft. Llama fibre is made into knitwear, textile fabrics and suiting cloth. The llama coat contains an extra-strong, protective guard hair that can be used for making blankets, rugs, wall-hangings, rope etc.

The llama unlike sheep and alpacas , has a coat that stops growing if not shorn (usually after two or three years). If it is shorn then it will grow back. It can be shorn annually.