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HDF – HOW IT ALL BEGAN

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The founder and creative director Dee DelBello and her late husband Al DelBello shared a great love for animals. Together they adopted many pets and today there are dogs, peacocks, chickens, guinea hens, two llama and 22 alpaca on their farm. Hence their story with the “herde de ferme” or farm herd began.

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Because of their love for alpaca, we now want to share their passion with you and have designed a collection of modern, luxury accessories and home décor utilizing the alpaca fleece in all its many unique variations. Focusing on this incredibly versatile, organic, sustainable natural fiber has become our obsession.

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Designed in New York and handcrafted in the mountains of Peru, these special pieces will feature the exceptional qualities and benefits that make alpaca fiber and fleece so desirable.

ALPACA AND ITS HERITAGE

Alpaca have an amazing history. A member of the camel family, there are records of these beautiful animals dating back to the ancient Incan civilizations high on the plateaus and mountains of South America. The Incans cherished their alpaca herds and reserved their super soft fleece for royalty only.

Today, customers appreciate all the features and benefits as a natural, organic material. Intelligent, elegant animals, alpaca produce some of the most sought-after fibers in the world. Alpaca fleece is extremely versatile and unique because it can be developed into a tissue-weight shawl for breezy, warm summer nights or spun into a chunky knit hat to ward off a chilly winter day.

It is a fiber that can be worn 12 months a year.

Treasured because it is as soft as cashmere and warmer and stronger than wool, alpaca maintains its lusterlike silk while at the same time it is hypoallergenic, more durable than other luxury fibers and completely sustainable with a lower carbon footprint through the production process. For example, alpaca come in more than 20 natural colors – off-white, beige, camel, taupe, chestnut, pearl grey, graphite, charcoal, chocolate brown and black – requiring less dyeing in the overall production. This process eliminates chemical usage, transportation costs and time spent on it – which is all good.

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THE TEAM

Dee DelBello
founder
Mauro Adornetto
financial officer and business planner
Sherry Cassin
noted accessory designer
Denise Jacobus
alpaca breeder with large upstate New York farm
Peggy Lichtenstein
marketing and press relations strategist

Michael Lichtenstein
noted attorney with large fashion clientele
Karen Pinto and Dominick Tanella
administrators and fulfillment coordinators
Danielle Renda
social media director
Dan Viteri
design director with creative digital credentials

SOURCING AND ACQUIRING ALPACA FLEECE

Raised and cherished for their beautiful warm and incredibly soft fleece, alpaca are sheared once a year similar to sheep. The fleece is then either spun into a yarn for knitting or a thread for weaving. Alpaca fleece is warmer, softer and stronger than sheep wool or cashmere from goats.

As for the alpaca fur: Due to the high altitudes and harsh winter in the Andes, some of the herd does not survive each year. The fur pelts are collected by the shepherds and sold to the apparel and home décor industries. Similar to shearling, but far more luxurious, alpaca fur can be chic and casual. Since the fur comes to us as a result of a natural-occurring event, we are able to create unique fur product that is ethically and sustainably sourced.

CREATING OUR PRODUCTS

All of our products are handmade, handcrafted or use the latest in technology. Many of our whisper-weight scarves and shawls are hand made on a loom by an individual artisan and others are made utilizing the best in computerized textile weaving hand directed by a technical designer.

Our knits are hand loomed or hand knitted – all our furs are handcrafted. Certain items require specific production suitable only for that individual item.

We go to great lengths to ensure that our quality and workmanship meet the highest standards deserving of this special alpaca material.

SHARING LOVE

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We love all animals as much as we love our alpaca, especially those animals that help kids. That’s why Green Chimneys in Brewster, New York, will benefit from Herde de Ferme sales.

Green Chimneys is a unique therapeutic day school, residential treatment center and working farm that is a worldwide leader in animal-assisted therapy and educational activities for children with special needs.

Students ranging in age from 5 to 17 attend Green Chimneys School daily; some live on the campus. The common thread for these children is that they face issues such as depression, trauma and autism-spectrum disorders, to name a few, which have made their school and home lives extremely challenging. Green Chimneys Farm & Wildlife Center is home to more than 200 farm animals, permanently injured or imprinted wildlife and horses. The main purpose for the animals’ presence is to thrive in the care they are given and play a supportive role in educational and animal-assisted therapy for the children so that they can discover their strengths and develop confidence and coping skills.

For more information, visit
greenchimneys.org.