STAFF at Isle of Wight clothing boutique, Peruvian Threads, travelled all the way to Peru to source handmade alpaca products direct from the crafters.

Based at West Wight Alpacas, Wellow, Peruvian Threads is a steadily growing business specialising in alpaca fibre clothing and accessories.

Staff have recently returned from a product hunting trip, scouring the huge markets of Cusco, Lima and Arequipa, hand selecting new stock.

They spent just over a week in Peru, visiting traders and crafters all over the country, sometimes battling with altitude sickness in the mountainous regions to complete long days in the markets.

The clothing boutique at West Wight Alpacas began life as a specialist retailer for owners Neil and Michelle Payne's own alpaca fibre produced on the farm.

As the shop grew, Neil and Michelle decided to expand into the colourful products they now source from Peru.

Early this year, Bethany Jennings joined the Peruvian Threads team and has been working to expand the business and boost its online presence. She travelled with Michelle to the South American country.

Bethany said: "Exploring the Peruvian markets was a fantastic experience. The colours are immense — materials all coloured using organic dyes are piled high in the stalls.

"It took a few days to get used to the altitude, because parts of the country are high above sea level, but we soon got into the swing of things, meeting artisans and buying products.

"Alpaca fibre is beautifully soft and can be made into a vast array of different things.

"Going to Peru to source the products allows us to get a hands on experience not just with the place and the crafters, but also with the quality of the items we purchase.

"It was a fantastic opportunity and it felt great knowing we were sticking to our business ethos — buying ethical, fair-trade products that help the local artisans that produce them."

The items they have brought back include a large selection of jumpers, scarves, purses, handbags and jewellery.

To see the new stock, fresh from Peru, visit West Wight Alpacas or go to