• Getting Sorted

    So we’d sorted, prepared and now we needed to spin the fleece. Marilyn showed us two methods, the first using a drop spindle which is still favoured by Peruvian women (nearly all of their daughters can spin by the age of three). Fitting neatly into one hand, the drop spindle is highly portable and spinning can be done even while walking. The demonstration then progressed onto using a treadle spinning wheel with a discussion on how the resulting yarn can be plied to create 2 ply, 3 ply, etc. more »
  • Alpaca Fibre Processing

    The oldest and most traditional method of turning alpaca fibre into yarn is hand spinning. Alpaca is a very attractive fibre to the hand spinner as unlike sheep’s wool it is a dry fibre, containing minuscule amounts of lanolin and so can be spun straight from the fleece without the need to scour. Many BAS members sell individual fleeces in all colours to hand spinners. Some will sell carded (or combed) fleece and some washed and carded fleece in small quantities down to as little as 50-500g. The average unsorted alpaca fleece is around 2.5kg and will give a hand spinner enough fine fibre to keep them busy for a very long time. more »
  • Alpaca Fibre

    Alpaca fibre is one of the most luxurious fibres in the world. It comes in 22 officially recognised colours and every shade in between. Its most remarkable quality is its softness – alpaca fibre is inherently soft. This is due to the fact it has less scales on each individual fibre, compared to sheep's wool which has many, and more prominent scales on each individual fibre. (Suri alpaca have less scales than huacaya alpaca so their fibre is even softer.) Even at its coarsest, alpaca is inherently softer than sheep's wool and often a certain percentage of alpaca fibre is added to sheep's wool during the woollen process to enhance the handle or feel. more »
  • Putting Weight on Thin Alpacas

    Some alpacas are able to keep their weight at good levels on a diet of fresh grass and grass hay. Older alpacas and females with crias are more incline to get skinny on the same diet. In times of no grass and with winter approaching, it is important to put a bit of weight on thin alpacas. more »
  • Fencing for Alpacas

    There isn't much you can do to stop them from putting there head through the fence. Chicken wire or any other small gap type of wire could be strung up but that option is expensive. The fencing types which are best avoided are barbed wire. This type of fencing can be very harmful to any animal and is best to be removed from any property with alpacas. more »