"INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF NATURAL FIBRE"
WHAT A GREAT TIME TO HIGHLIGHT FLEECES PRODUCED BY THESE
see 'Products' for items for sale
come in 22
natural tones from white to fawns, to grey, to brown, to blacks with
various shades of each. Some fleeces are most unique. Many times, we are
surprised at the color of a new arrival.
The white, cream, light to medium fawn, light greys and lighter
browns can all be
to any hue in the
Dyes with acid bases are the main type used, but some have had success
with cake icing colors, koolaid & Easter egg dyes. Some of the
darker colors have been overdyed with bright colors to give a unique
hue. A friend dyed a dark brown with deep purple & just loves the
& natural colors ready for mill processing.
yarn from the mill.
Alpaca fibre can be
with a great variety of other ‘yarn’ types. Polyester, linen, silk,
wool, cotton, hemp, nylon, bamboo & more can be used.
Many people, who are allergic to wool, are
able to wear
alpaca easily. The natural
‘scales’ on alpaca fibre shafts are finer & more elongated than wool, thus
decreasing the ‘prickle’ factor. It is often referred to as
nOT contain lanolin as wool does, but still has the
ability to repel moisture.
Alpaca is considered to be 5-13 times
than wool - often compared to cashmere. It is also
lighter & stronger than wool making end products that are durable &
There is testing at a USA college that will verify some of the
properties attributed to alpaca. This is a big step in knowing
more about the fibre & perhaps open more avenues for its use.
once a year during spring. This allows time for re-growth before winter,
so that they are protected from the elements during this cold season.
After shearing, the fibre is
The blanket or saddle area is considered the best part of each animal's fleece.
Fibre from the lower belly & legs is generally coarser. Touching it will
let you feel the differences- this is often referred to as the
handle of the fleece - or the feel.
There are far more sheep in the
world than alpaca. Fibre from the gentle alpaca is one of the most
desired natural products for exclusive apparel. Therefore the cost
of making such can be quite expensive.
What can it be used for?
Those who spin, weave, knit, felt, crochet, quilt, do hairpin lace, tat or
needle felt, will thoroughly enjoy working with this fibre! Some have
even used fibre in adding hair to dolls.
Care should be taken in
cleaning items made of alpaca. As wool, it will felt with heat &
agitation. Most recommend
washing with mild soap
(baby shampoo) &
laying flat to dry.
Items can also be dry cleaned.