Fiber - Alpaca and Llama wool
First off let me say that at this time I am by no means an expert on any of these topics.
I am still learning about them.
Here is some of what I know. Alpaca and Llama need to be sheared in the early spring or they will over heat. Their fiber is an excellent insulator, 10 times as warm as sheep wool and none of the scratchiness. It is strong and does not lose its strength even in the finest thicknesses. ( I do not have a great feel for softness or fineness of fiber it turns out. This will take me time to learn. ) There is a good market for the raw fiber, fiber that is ready for spinning and processed fiber made into yarn.
Shearing them is not that difficult on most of the animals. They all have personalities ! I am shearing all of my animals – so far. As my herd increases I want to hire a crew to do the job. I have seen these 4 men do 100 animals in one day at a nearby farm, very professional, very impressive and much faster and less stressful on me. I sheared 20 animals last spring not so intimidated this year. But allot of that has to do with having a new electric shears and lots of sharp blades waiting. Need a couple animals sheared ? Consider me.
Currently, January 2012, I have 10 pounds of profesionally cleaned rovings and have taken another 100 lbs to them to do. That includes 3 sheep this year. So right now I have no raw meaning freshly sheared fiber being stored. Almost all is beautiful shades of reddish brown. I am learning a whole new language of technical terms about fiber and yarns. I am using this winter weather to start washing it then “carding” it. Then, something I never imagined I would ever try to learn, I am learning to spin it on a spinning wheel into yarn.
If you need fiber - raw, carded or yarn - let’s talk ! I would love to trade raw fiber for yarn or even spinning lessons. I would trade fiber for use of your drum carder ! Hopefully very soon, I will be able to say I am willing to trade yarn for finished knitted items, hats, scarves, whatever you can make. I do not intend to attempt to learn how to knit or crochet. I believe a man needs to know his limits.