- The usefulness of classifying the Alpaca wool samples according to their color, sex and location is associated with their economic value in the market, hence adequate methods for rapid classification are needed to assess the of wool value. This study evaluated the potential of the visible and near infrared (vis-NIR) spectroscopy combined with multivariate statistical analysis to classify Alpaca (Lama Pacos) fiber samples according to age (1 and 2-3-year-old), sex (Male and Female) and color (Black, Brown, LF and White). Samples (n=291) were scanned in reflectance mode in the wavelength range of 400-2500nm using a monochromator instrument (FOSS NIRSystems6500, Inc., Silver Spring, MD, USA). Principal component analysis (PCA) and partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) were used to classify fiber samples. Cross-validation was used for validation of classification models developed. Results showed that PLS-DA correctly classified 100% of fiber samples into ages, intermediate classification rates were obtained for color, while lower classification rates were obtained for the discrimination of wool samples according to sex. The results from this study suggested that vis-NIR spectroscopy in combination with multivariate data analysis can be used as a rapid method to classify Alpaca fiber samples according to age, sex and color.
- Luxury fibers have great importance in the field of high added value fabric production, but the studies related to these fibers are very limited. One of these luxury proteinous fibers is alpaca wool. In this study, dyeing characteristics (dye-uptake speed, color efficiency and nuance of color, fastness properties, etc.) of alpaca fibers (Huacaya and Suri) were investigated by taking sheep wool as a reference. Furthermore, analysis such as scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy was also carried out. According to the experimental results it was found that both dye-uptake speed and amount was in the range of sheep > Suri alpaca > Huacaya alpaca for milling acid dye. Furthermore, when their fastness properties were compared with sheep wool, it could be said that there was no difference for washing and perspiration fastness, while rubbing and light fastness of alpaca fibers were lower than sheep wool.
- There are no perfect alpacas. There is great room for improvement in all of our herds, and we can watch it happen before our eyes in our very own pastures, when we make good breeding choices. Once you learn to judge alpaca conformation and fleece, you'll see that not even blue ribbon winners are perfect. Learning to evaluate fleece will help you to make the best breeding choices for your alpacas.
- Found in a vast array of natural colors from white to black and most everything in between (beiges, fawns, browns, and greys), the fiber of the alpaca is the byproduct for which the animals were originally first domesticated some 6,000 years ago. Modern textile grade alpaca fleece is blessed with amazing fineness, very good insulation qualities, and high luster, making alpaca a near perfect fiber from which to make luxurious garments. Because of those qualities, clothing made from it is both light weight yet extremely warm at the same time, while being more durable than cashmere.