Alpaca fleece is highly sought
after by handcrafters and commercial markets alike because it is one of
the finest natural fibers. Fibers are measured using laser scanning technology
and the result is a graph called a histogram that can be used to evaluate
fleeces of different alpacas.
Click on the histogram at left for an enlarged, readable copy!
Alpaca fleece can be made into any products that can be made out of wool,
and the result will be warmer, lighter, and softer. Many people who cannot
wear wool because it is too scratchy can wear alpaca. People who are allergic
to the lanolin in wool can wear alpaca, which does not have lanolin. Those
who are allergic to commercial dyes can wear alpaca, which comes in over
20 natural colors.
Alpaca is marvelous for baby clothes and luxury garments.
The Japanese even make alpaca underwear!
Alpacas are sheared once a year, like
sheep, using hand clippers or electric shears. The fleece is then
separated into the blanket, which is the best quality, and other parts.
Josephine before shearing
Josephine after shearing
Alpaca CO-OP of North America
North American alpaca breeders have banded together to form a co-op
to process fleece into yarn and other products. At Cloud Dancer Alpacas
we do our own shearing. We send some of our fleece to the alpaca fiber
co-op (we are proud to be a charter member) and sell some to our handcrafter