Natural Alpaca Fiber
Did you know alpaca
- Is softer, lighter and stronger than cashmere or sheep wool
- Consists of long-lasting lustrous fibers that are stain, odor, flame and wrinkle resistant
- Is an eco-friendly renewable fiber that comes in 22 natural colors
Alpaca fibers come in 22 color variations, including shades of blacks, browns, whites, grey and even maroon. Alpaca fiber has no lanolin (the oil found in sheep wool), making it hold less dust, allergens and bacteria. It’s odor, stain, flame and wrinkle resistant. It takes and retains dyes without losing its sheen. Alpaca fiber is lighter, warmer and stronger than sheep wool. The highest quality alpaca fibers feel softer and smoother than cashmere. Products made of alpaca fiber are unusually easy to care for and long-lived.
The average alpaca produces 5 to 7 pounds of fiber every year.
There are many ways to market this fiber. Many alpaca owners will spin and knit the fiber themselves into yarn and hand-knit items that they can then turn around and sell for a premium. Others will sell their raw fiber to handspinners with the demand for the softness and the vast array of natural colors found in alpaca fiber growing every day. Many fiber artists have never worked with alpaca before. It often takes just one touch or a free sample to create a convert for life. The bottom line on selling alpaca fiber "off the farm" is that the further you take it down the line the more value is added (cleaning, carding, spinning, knitting or weaving).