Why Raise Alpaca?
Alpacas are gentle in nature, easy care and allow flexible time in your life. Indigenous to South America, the Alpaca is raised for incredibly soft, warm fiber. They are shorn once a year yielding between 5-10 lbs. After preparation, it is ready to be spun into yarn or roving for knitting, weaving and crocheting. It is also used to make felt, or in our case beautiful hand woven rugs.
Alpaca Fiber… highly prized and sought after
Alpacas are members of the camelid family and are one of nature’s greatest gifts. With their gentle nature, variety of color and soft luxurious fiber, alpacas have an irresistible appeal to humans.
Alpacas are closely related to the other “New World” camelid species; Llamas, Vicunas and Guanacos and still have much in common with their distant “Old World” cousins the Dromedary (one humped) and Bactrian (two humped) camels.
The ancestors of the camelids evolved in North America. Although the ancestors of the llamas and camels began to diverge, they weren’t completely separated until the ancestors of the camel migrated across the Bering Strait land bridge to Asia. Llamas migrated to South America and all the remaining camelids in North America died out.
Alpacas produce one of the world’s finest and most luxurious natural fibers. It is shorn from the animal without causing injury. Soft as cashmere, warmer, lighter and stronger than wool, it comes in more colors than any other fiber producing animal – approximately 22 colors with many variations and blends.
This cashmere-like fleece, once reserved for Incan royalty and prized for its incredible ability to be lightweight and warm when spun into clothing, is now enjoyed by spinners and weavers around the world. These natural colors are highly prized by many in the textile industry because their fiber does not have to be chemically dyed.