It’s more luxurious than cashmere, 60 times more expensive and comes in one colour – brown.
Sheffield teenager Jack Crofts has set up a company to sell ‘the world’s most exclusive yarn’ - and a scarf costs a staggering £6,000.
The enterprising 17-year-old is believed to be the first in the UK to import Vicuna wool, from a South American animal related to the alpaca, which was highly-prized by Inca royalty.
Jack, who lives with his parents in Stocksbridge, said it is the thinnest natural fibre in the world and is too delicate to dye.
Now, he has set up Vicuna Royale to sell scarves on a word-of-mouth basis, to maintain that all-important exclusivity.
The Peter Jones Academy pupil won £3,000 in the Edge Challenge, judged by Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis, with his business plan. He spent the money sourcing a supplier in Italy, a manufacturer in Leicester and aims to start producing scarves next month. Academy staff helped to set up a meeting with a wealthy developer in London who could be his first customer.
He said: “You don’t see many brown scarves around, with the right branding and its intriguing story I think it will be instantly recognisable and a must-have for those with the money.” He got the idea after watching a BBC documentary on the Vicuna. His research appeared to show there were no UK importers after trade restrictions - imposed to save the animal from extinction - were lifted in 2008.