• Variation of Fibre Characteristics Among Sampling Sites for Huacaya Alpaca Fleeces from the High Andes

    In the Huancavelica region of Peru alpacas form the main and often only means of deriving an income for 3300 poor families in 60 communities. Ninety percent of alpacas in the region are Huacaya which are grazed at altitudes 4000–4800 m. Little attention has been paid to alpacas grazed in the High Andes. We aimed to: (i) quantify the variation in alpaca mean fibre diameter (MFD), fibre diameter coefficient of variation (CVD), fibre curvature (FC) and staple length (SL) among 24 sampling sites, (ii) quantify the difference between the mid-side sampling site and other fleece components for each fleece attribute, (iii) identify the sampling site with the highest correlation to the fibre attributes of the fleece in general, and (iv) quantify the relationship between FC and MFD for alpaca. Adult female alpacas (n = 31, mean live weight 71 kg) were sampled and had their fleece weighed in 8 components. Total mean fleece weight was 3.35 kg (range 2.13–6.01). Staples were measured for length (mm) and tested on the OFDA2000 to determine MFD, CVD and FC. The effect of the site was determined using ANOVA analysis. Values for FC were log10 transformed. Correlations between sites and regression analysis between MFD and FC were performed. The mean values for the mid-side site were: MFD 26.3 μm; CVD 20.2%; FC 34.9 °/mm; SL 91 mm, which were finer and longer than other fleece components. The variation in MFD between the 24 sampling sites was 20.2–50.6 μm and between 9 sampling sites in the main fleece saddle was 24.8–31.7 μm. Fleece attributes varied significantly between all fleece components and among fleece sites (P more »
  • The Spin On Suris and How They Differ From Huacayas

    The Suri should grow a very lustrous silky dense fibre, which hangs in individual locks, vertical to the body (similar to that of a mohair goat). These locks come in various types, with the ringlet formation and the wave with twist being the most popular. more »
  • Effects of Exogenous Melatonin on Performance of Alpaca Fleece in Spring

    In order to study how MTL affecte alpaca fleece growth at the slowest growth period of fleece (2~5 month), 12 pregnant alpacas were injected melatonin (MLT) by 0、 50、100、150 mg from Feb to May. The results showed that MTL caused diameter and stretched length increased significantly. During the experiment the fleece growth rate in treated groups was increased significantly, but MTL had no effects on picking amount and percentage of scoured wool rate. Above all, MTL played a great role in increasing alpaca fleece growth and 100mg was the best dosage. more »
  • Understanding Fleece Results

    Testing and then understanding fleece testing results is invaluable to alpaca breeders. It allows stud owners to make educated and informed decisions in their breeding programs. It also gives breeders information on the quality of their fleece in regards to processing into products. more »
  • Stress in Venice

    When in Venice, do as the Venetians do! That is, every minute you are out on the street, look as good as you possibly can! So we did. For my part, a divinely soft, hand spun, and loosely hand knitted alpaca scarf was donned, both to make me feel smug, and to make me feel snug. And I did! On about the third day , to my horror, I noticed a hole! And then progressively more; until on day five, there were about 6 holes! How could this be? Had the silverfish had lunch there? Was the spinning poorly done? Was I being too rough with my treasured scarf? more »