There are so many moments in my journey that have led to Tuwi and the passion I have for sharing the discoveries I have made about a beautiful and sustainable luxury like baby alpaca fibre (no, it’s not from baby alpacas, but more about that in the section About Alpacas).
My love affair with baby alpaca started on my honeymoon, touring Peru and Bolivia. In Cusco, the ancient Inca capital of the Andes, I bought my first alpaca blanket. I had never felt anything so soft and light, and I loved the subtle colours.
Once our daughter was born in 2010, we found ourselves travelling a lot with her. I’d been researching the best fabrics for new babies, and baby alpaca (one of the finest grades available) ticked all the boxes: super-light, natural, hypoallergenic, extremely soft. Perfect for keeping our little bundle of joy cosy in the airline cabin, out and about as well as snuggled up at home.
I’d been working in luxury retail for some years in London, including management roles at Harrods and Heidi Klein in Chelsea. I understood that high quality is worth striving for and my first career as a model in Paris and Milan had also given me an appreciation for beautiful designs. But what if they could be practical and sustainable too?
Five years later in 2015 we were back in Peru (by then we also had a son) to attend the wedding of my brother to a gorgeous Peruvian girl. I found the perfect scarf in Lima: again, it was made from baby alpaca. The lovely lady pointed out that baby alpaca was the fabric of the ancient Peruvian royalty. As I wrapped my young son up one chilly evening I remembered that the Obamas had given a baby alpaca blanket to Prince George of the British Royal Family, they subsequently gave one to Princess Charlotte as well.
It seemed to me the comforts of baby alpaca should not just be for royalty but for all of our own little Princes and Princesses. I realised that with the help of my sister in law I could source suppliers of baby alpaca and (the top grade) royal baby alpaca. Then I could design the baby blankets I’d always wanted, and grown-ups could enjoy them too. This is how Tuwi was born. The choice of brand name was simple – tuwi means baby alpaca in Quechua, the language of the Incas.
While travelling in Peru, Tuwi founder Kasia McConaghy, fell in love at first touch with baby alpaca fleece. Back in London the baby alpaca throws she acquired brought warmth and softness to her growing family.
Kasia soon realised that other families would also fall in love with the wonderful qualities of baby alpaca fleece. It is perfect for babies and young children, being both hypoallergenic and natural. The fleece has outstanding thermal qualities, bringing warmth in cold weather and keeping the body cool in heat. The softness of baby alpaca fleece is comparable to cashmere, although some believe it has a softer silky feel due to its longer fibres. It seems the Obama family have been quite taken by the fabric, giving alpaca blankets as Christening gifts to Prince George and then Princess Charlotte.
With a passion for providing high quality and luxurious products, the homeware brand Tuwi was soon born. The choice of brand name was simple – tuwi means baby alpaca in Quechua, the language of the Incas.
The Tuwi collection combines a simple and sophisticated aesthetic with a true commitment to high-quality and a sustainability-driven ethos.
Aiming to connect the Peruvian origins with brand’s British home, we designed the Heritage blanket collection, which brings the iconic Liberty of London Fabric print to the baby alpaca blankets.
Complementing the Heritage collection is our elegant, understated Pure collection which includes both knitted and woven blankets. Our blankets are all produced with great care, using the finest baby alpaca fibre.
Our responsible manufacturing ethos supports our talented Peruvian craftspeople and their communities. We are also a member of the International Alpaca Association, which certifies the quality of alpaca products.
We hope you too will find inspiration in Tuwi’s baby alpaca products and the collection will become a source of warmth and joy in your home.