Hortensia is an accessories and knitwear brand, born from the ancient traditions of Andean weaving and blended with a chic, urban sensibility.
Using the unique texture and warmth of alpaca wool, the design team has put the finest materials Peru has to offer into a product line available to the rest of the world.
For the designers, the creative process comes from a legacy of knitting that reaches back three generations. This is their life’s work. Their methods have been honed, innovated, and refined in a constant cycle, reflecting the artisanal craftsmanship of Peruvian knitters and an aesthetic that draws from the currents of modern fashion. The collection is a medley of textures, hues, and shapes, built to endure the elements, and the distinct panache that on-the-go urbanites crave.
Hortensia came to be through the hands of Elizabeth Tola and Michelle Peglau. The mother and daughter team share a timeless love for their native country, Peru, and wished to share it. The name Hortensia was a gift of Peglau’s great aunt, also a passionate knitter, who was raised in France and Peru. In Spanish, it means Hydrangea.
Elizabeth is based in Lima, while Michelle works out of New York. Although both have a strong background in design, the desire to create Hortensia was a leap of faith. It turned out to be more fulfilling than either could have predicted.
The journey started with sales of their handmade scarves and hats to NYC stores like Henri Bendel and Oak, and has grown into an international network of vendors in Canada, Japan and the UK.
The small co-op of knitters is made up of independent artisans who sustain themselves and their families, year-round, by the progress of Hortensia. Our encompassing goal is the continuation of this model into the future.
The alpaca wool used in all of our products is exclusive to the Andes region in Peru. More rare than cashmere, the thick coat grows on the alpaca as an adaptation to the extreme climate. It is widely sought-after as a luxury material, due to its quality, scarcity, and remarkable characteristics:
- Thermal quality: Alpaca fiber is hollow, thereby providing excellent thermal properties.
- Non-Allergic: Alpaca is free from lanolin making it hypoallergenic and non-itchy.Softness
- Comfortable to Wear: Alpaca clothing is comfortable, light and much more breathable than wool or cashmere.
- Durability: Alpaca wool is stronger and warmer that merino wool. The fiber is naturally resistant to pilling, wrinkling and staining.
- Texture: Exceptionally light, alpaca garments display an excellent drape.
Caring for your alpaca wool
We recommend that you hand wash your alpaca wool item, you can also dry clean it. Dry cleaning twice a season should be more than enough. For hand wash use cold water and a soft detergent; lay the item flat surface to dry. For more information on how to hand wash follow this tips