What, When, Where: Sandra Jordan Prima Alpaca
March 17, 2014
By Lynda Simonton
Photos courtesy of Sandra Jordan
Have you ever met someone who is so ardently committed to what they do that you were immediately drawn to them and their project, no matter what it was? This is how I felt when I met Sandra Jordan, founder of the eponymous fabric line featured at Webster & Company at the Boston Design Center. Sandra is so passionate about her textiles and how she is using them to help herdsmen and producers in her native Peru that I felt energized and inspired after meeting her. Peruvian alpaca couldn’t have a better spokeswoman!
The Sandra Jordan Prima Alpaca line is a well-edited collection of solids, stripes, and plaids. What is most notable about the line is the luxurious hand and draping of the fabrics. You are compelled to reach out and touch them, and they really do feel incredibly soft. They are made from prima alpaca, the result of the first shearing of an alpaca that is less than a year old. The sheared fibers are then hand-sorted, which also contributes to the supple hand of the finished fabric.
The line’s color palette is influenced by Jordan’s travels, so there are lush greens reminiscent of hanging moss in Savannah and browns that are the color of falling leaves in Sonoma. These nature-inspired hues mix well with a wide variety of patterns and textures—allowing them to work beautifully when combined with fabrics from other manufacturers and other lines.
As I mentioned above, though, this is more than just a story about beautiful cloth. Jordan developed her fabrics while renovating her family winery in Sonoma. She wanted to use beautiful alpaca fabrics from her native Peru in the interiors, and then one thing led to another. Sandra saw the business potential of bringing these beautiful fabrics to market as well as the opportunity to help Peruvians economically.
The resulting enterprise is wider-reaching than a simple farming initiative. The production of alpaca textiles begins with breeding the animals to create true alpaca fiber, since the lineage of these animals has been compromised over the years. Not only are Jordan’s alpaca raised and shorn in Peru, all fabric production takes place there as well. The enterprise provides a welcome boost to a struggling economy. Sandra knows the best way to help her native countrymen is actually from afar, here in the United States, by spreading the word about the beauty of prima alpaca.
This photo from Jordan’s portfolio shows the quiet beauty of her line. While the draping of this ultra-soft fabric naturally lends itself to curtains and bedding, her alpaca creations are often used for upholstery and wallcoverings as well.
How can you resist fabrics made from alpaca when you see a photo like this?