May 6, 2011

Harvesting Alpaca Fiber

Being new alpaca owners, we were intrigued by the whole shearing process. A community of alpaca owners gather together to hire a shearer to shear all our alpacas for the day. 

It is quite a team effort and a very streamlined system. This might be a do-it-yourself project, but it is definitely not a do-it-by-yourself project, if you know what I mean.

The whole process took about 30 minutes for our three guys to get their haircuts. We bagged the blankets (the main body fleece from the back) separately from the seconds (the less desirable fleece of the legs, tail, and head).  We found that a woman in Arizona will take the seconds and make them into rugs for you that you can sell or give away as gifts.  I'll be checking into that more. 

Now we have six bags of fleece. Alpacas, alpacas, have you any fleece? Yes ma'am, yes ma'am, six bags full. So these guys look very different after their shearing. We may need to knit them some sweaters!

Need more information on Alpacas?  I've put together a page of information entitled, All About Alpacas.  I'll be adding to this site as I find useful information.