Fort Ethier Alpaca Beauties
In Canada, we have a fibre co-op - The Canadian Camelid Fibre Coop- it is in the process of changes at present. More to come on these changes.
The Coop classed fibre into 6 usable grades. Each level - grades 1-6 has an approximate 3 micron variance. Once classed into a grade, it is was then processed into an assortment of products for sale. Processing fees were paid by the fibre owner. Farm credits were then assessed to the contributor, who was able to use those credits to obtain product.
Through the Olds College, courses are given for people to attain a sorter &/or classer certification. I was a member of the first group with Cameron Holt as the instructor. Following 3 days of lectures & hands on practise, we had a written test plus testing of sample fleeces. Next came the requirement of sorting 200 fleeces - 25 had to be from suri animals. Test samples of 32 fleeces were submitted (7 suri) for verification of my findings.
Some of the course lengths & needs have changed since this first course.
This certification indicates that I am able to take a shorn fleece and determine it's grade, separate long and short staples and divide the fleece as to quality. The blanket area of each animal is used as the base grade and areas of the neck, brisket, rump, belly and legs are placed into their own grades - (generally a higher or courser grade than that of the blanket).
Some of the reasons I took this course -
-to learn more about alpaca fibre
-to have an accurate base knowledge to assist other alpaca owners to gain confidence in preparing their fleeces for processing - whether through the Coop or at a mill or even at home for themselves.
-provide information on CanCam
-assist at shearing time with sorting so fibre can be processed faster, rather than being stored in bags in a barn, basement, garage, etc.
I am willing to travel to other farms for the above purposes - hopefully on shearing day - but will arrange to come at a convenient time for both parties.
Contact - ph. 780-352-3260