Frank W. Michell was a former WWI RAF aviator who, in 1922, decided to journey to South America in search of both adventure and opportunity. Upon reaching Peru, Frank immediately fell in love with the local geography, culture and especially the many herds of colourful alpacas.
He ingratiated himself with the local weavers, studying their trade & techniques and becoming determined to show what he had found to the rest of the world. Pawning-off a golden cigarette case that his father had left him as a farewell gift, Michell used the proceeds as the seed capital to begin commercial production & sale of alpaca fiber.
By the late thirties, Frank had developed a classification system for identifying alpaca yarn according to its density and finesse, developed a specialized technique for washing the exceptionally greasy fibers and began drafting garment designs that made unique use of alpaca fleece. For his achievements, Frank is known by most in the alpaca industry as, 'The Pioneer'.
Frank's family took up his trade, and today the Michell Group has achieved his vision of a fully industrialized, commercial alpaca enterprise. Thanks to the tireless efforts of one adventurous soul from the UK, the entire world is able to enjoy the textile traditions of the Andean people & their flocks.