Our fiber is processed the moment it is shorn from the alpaca. We have visitors on shearing day,(3rd Sunday in May), that participate in the skirting of 2nds and thirds. The fiber comes off the alpaca in three parts. Prime or first, comes from the alpaca’s back, 2nds from the the neck and belly of the alpaca and thirds come from the legs.
The prime fleece gets vacuumed prior to shearing, after shearing it is skirted, thumbled and washed. At this point it is ready for the next step. The next step for the alpaca fleece could be: sold to hand spinners, sent to the mini mill to be processed into yarn, roving, or batting. Or processed here at the ranch
Once the alpaca fibers has been skirted, graded, and sorted we are ready to play. Using hand carders or a drum carder the fibers are picked and placed on the carder to a line the fiber. It’s kind of like brushing your hair to get all the hairs going in the same direction.
The fun starts when you start blending different natural colors or dyed colors to create a batt or rolag. These batts or rolags then can then be made into singles or plyed into yarn.
Dye Pot or Hand Paint, now that is the question
There are different methods to putting dye or color into the alpaca fiber. One can immerse the fiber into a dye pot to absorb the color. Or use a hand painting method to create lots of color for a special effect.
The fiber has been dyed or left natural, blended in batts or rolags now it can be put through the spinning wheel or drop spindle.
now it can be put through the spinning wheel or drop spindle.
After that, you have made yarn.There are so many more options to make something from yarn. What will you make with your alpaca fiber?
Quarry Critters Alpaca Ranch
580 Basehoar Rd.