|Just don't leave your fleeces laying around!
"What do you do with ALPACA fiber?"
Alpacas have fiber that is a delight to handle so everyone should experience some hands-on processing
at some point while owning alpacas. You will acquire a profound appreciation for the product that you can get no other way.
Even if you are not a knitter or spinner or 'fiber artist' you can enjoy being creative with alpaca fiber. We recommend
taking a course in fiber grading, which can be just a few hours with a fiber expert or several days of intense instruction
and practical experience from which point you can choose to become an apprentice in the Certified SortedTM System.
with other alpaca fiber producers
For those who want to work with a fiber production
business model, you will need to take advantage of commercial processing rates and that means joining a cooperative. The one
we belong to is the Natural Fiber Producers cooperative. We have our fiber sorted using the Certified SortedTM System, submit it to
a collection facility and track its progress through processing, paying our share of costs as it works its way through the
system. At the end we have product made from our fiber (pooled with other Certified SortedTM fiber from across the continent) which we can sell ourselves or place in the coop's
wholesale inventory where it is available to anyone who buys for retail and also to anyone buying at retail on the coop's new online store.
locally for mini-mill processing
is a possibility if there are other alpaca fiber producers near you and you all agree on what is to be produced and you have
someone capable of organizing and following through with quality control. For the best product, you will all need to grade
your fiber and don't mix grades at the mill.
If you have the time and know or want to learn the skills, there is nothing like washing, carding, dyeing, spinning,
plying, knitting your own alpaca fiber. This is the best way to produce yarn and finished items out of a single alpaca's
fleece! Decide how much you want to be paid for your time and figure out if this works for you.
The most basic hands-on project
|Make little versions of your favorite alpacas!
For the simplest start, try needle-felting. There are instructional videos
online and books available to teach you this fun activity. One of the best aspects of making needle-felted items is that you
can use the cria fiber that can't be processed in other ways.