• Variable Fleece Scores

    BAS judge Liz Barlow examines why fleece scores may differ from one show to another. more »
  • Fibre Metrology of Wool and its Applicability to Alpaca

    The measurements made on wool and the reasons for those measurements are examined. It is suggested that, if the alpaca fibre-processing industry is to move beyond being a cottage industry, it will have to adopt modern total quality management. It will also have to respond to customer demands for end-products at competitive prices and processor demands for repeatable quality. This will mean price will be determined by measured fibre properties and the key properties will almost certainly be diameter and whiteness (freedom from coloured fibre). more »
  • Washing Alpaca Fiber

    One of the most popular questions I receive is, "How do I wash my fiber?" I wash my alpaca fiber in big livestock water tanks. We simply use hot tap water and Ajax dish soap. We use Ajax because it is the cheapest surfactant dish soap that I have been able to find. By the ounce from Wal-Mart (in the big bottles) it is even cheaper than the bulk I have been able to find online. It seems too simple, but it works well for me and I wash a little over a thousand pounds of fiber a year! (note: you will see Equate hand soap in some of the pictures, I don’t use that to wash, we use that for felting…. it is NOT a surfactant and it will not be effective in removing grease from your wash fibers). more »
  • NEAFP Guide: Grading Fiber

    Our goal is to keep fiber grading as straight forward as possible on the farmer's end. Our system is designed to be simple to understand while identifying the areas of the alpaca with different levels of fineness and staple length. We ask that all farm's submitting fiber keep it separated into the three basic grades, based on how it comes off during shearing. Fiber should be sheared, kept separate by shearing location, and quickly skirted to remove barn yard debris and short cuts under 1.5” in staple length. more »
  • Alpaca Fiber, Llama Fiber, Sheep Fiber or Wool, How Are They Different?

    Alpaca and llama fleece are classified as specialty or luxury fibers, but sheep fleece or wool tops the list of animal fibers used today. The camelids (alpaca and llama) are quite similar to each other in fiber and background, and though they bear some similarity to sheep, the differences between the fibers of these herding animals are outstanding. more »

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