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Buy luxurious alpaca fibre direct from our herd. Fine and soft, raw or carded. Try our beautiful blends with silk.
Alpaca Fibre and Fine Yarns
See our alpaca fibre in a full range of heavenly colours

We supply raw fibre, naturally fine, soft and silky, and washed and carded slivers of pure alpaca fibre, in natural colours.

We blend fine alpaca with silk for luxurious blends, and create fabulous bright colours. 

 

Our fibre is sought after by manufacturers and craft folk.


BUY FIBRE

A wide range of heavenly natural colours, both raw and carded.
  • white
  • honey fawn
  • warm fawn
  • ginger
  • chocolate brown
  • rich brown
  • dark grey
  • rose grey
  • espresso black

silk colours 2014

And now luscious bright colours too, with luxurious blends with silk SOLD OUT

We attend the Creative Fibre Festival annually, and part of one of our displays is pictured below.

Fibre Festival Timaru 2009

Look what this page has won us!
We've won an award!

The fineness of alpaca makes it a treat to craft with.

As co-author of the New Zealand Alpaca Fibre Manual, Linda ensures that the fibre we produce is a quality product.

Our alpacas have their best and finest blanket fibre shorn first, and this is what we provide for the craft market. You may buy it online here.

We attend open days to be a speaker and to retail alpaca fibre. We also host educational days for craftsfolk at our alpaca gallery.

Southern Alpacas is a member of the New Zealand Spinning, Weaving and Woolcraft Society. We exhibit at the annual Creative Fibre festival, and have arranged that articles made from alpaca fibre have a special prize at festival.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

HINTS FOR CRAFTING IN ALPACALinda Blake--New Zealand authority on alpaca fibre

Alpaca has long been considered amongst the finest of fibres.
Indeed, the Incas called it "the fibre of the gods". The softness of alpaca fibre is unsurpassed, with a silky lustre to it. Alpaca has a good staple length and is fine, and the alpaca Southern Alpacas sell for craft use has a micron of 18 to 26 (about the same as merino wool). The first sheer from young animals is baby-soft and finest, with a micron of less than 20.

Alpaca can be used wherever you would use sheep wool, and the finished article will be lighter, softer, and warmer. Alpaca has partially hollow fibres, providing excellent insulative properties whilst remaining lightweight. It also has superb strength and is hard wearing. Alpaca is 30 percent warmer than the same weight merino garment and is four times more abrasion resistant than merino.

Alpaca does not have the same "prickle factor" of wool, so once washed it is suitable for use by most allergy sufferers. Alpaca does not tear, pill, stain, itch, or create static.

a-spotG.gif (833 bytes)Preparing Fibre

We sell clean fibre, washed and carded and ready to spin, and also clean raw fibre.
Click here to purchase. Raw fibre can be spun as is or it can be washed first. Use a mild detergent and warm water, and give it two clear water rinses, in water of the same temperature. Squeeze out, and dry it on a raised rack to let the air circulate.

Raw alpaca only loses 7 to 10 percent of its weight in washing, and does not shrink when washed carefully. Put the fibre into the water do not run water onto it. Alpaca does felt,  so do not agitate it when washing.

Buy luxurious alpaca fibre direct from our herd. Fine and soft, raw or carded.  Try our beautiful blends with silk.

a-spotG.gif (833 bytes)Spinning fibre
Alpaca handles and spins like fine wool or mohair. Raw fleece can be spun from either the cut end or the tip. Using washed and carded alpaca sliver gives a nice draw and is easy to spin.

Alpaca is best suited to 4 ply or 8 ply weight to maximise its attributes. Because of the smoothness of the fibre, more twist is required. Use plenty of twist on the singles, and a firm twist on the plying to form a yarn. Alpaca has less crimp, so there is not as much bulk in the yarn.
 

 

a-spotG.gif (833 bytes)Knitting yarn
Alpaca is low in crimp, and, for knitting, blending in other fine washed fibres improves the loft and elasticity, and helps larger garments retain their shape better.

Knit so there is not much air space and knit a tension square first. Use any 8 or 12 ply pattern, triple knit, with 4.5 to 5.5 needles. Recommended needle sizes are:

  • 4 ply 3.25 and 2.75 mm (10's and 12's)
  • 8 ply 4.00 and 3.25 mm (8's and 10's)

In knitwear, consider using alpaca for jerseys, cardigans, baby wear, socks, gloves, scarves, ponchos, hats, jackets and rugs.

 
a-spotG.gif (833 bytes)Blending
Many spinners who knit, like to add in some sheep wool. This can be done by hand-carding the two together before spinning, or spinning a single of each of the alpaca and the sheep wool, and plying them together softly. To feature the properties of the alpaca, spin them thicker than the wool single.

Alpaca contains very little oil and does not shrink when washed carefully. A greasy sheep fleece will lose weight and shrink when washed due to the cross linking and tangling of fibres. As the wool shrinks more than the alpaca, this will give a spirally effect to your spinning when washed. To avoid this, pre-wash the sheep fleece.

Alpaca can also be blended with mohair in a brushed yarn, giving a beautiful soft light yarn. Mohair will add sheen and loft and give a fuzzy look when blended on hand carders. Angora rabbit blended with alpaca is very soft, warm and luxurious.

Alpaca and silk carded together is a lovely combination and the finished yarn feels softer and shinier. Alternatively, wisps of silk applied to the carder first, on a diagonal, and then a contrasting colour of alpaca applied on top, carded only once, will give a sparkle in places to your handspun yarn.

 

click for help with alpaca fibre

 

 

 

 

 

 

a-spotG.gif (833 bytes)Weaving
A yarn containing 100% alpaca is well suited to weaving. It makes a good warp when sleyed at 8 to 14 ends per inch. If you have trouble with your warp fibres clinging together, dampen them with a wet sponge as you weave. Do not beat your weft too hard.

Handspun alpaca is more effective in simple weaves so that its colour and texture can be seen. Very effective planned stripes and patterns can be woven using the natural colour shades, or you may prefer to have a more natural look by allowing different shades to appear throughout your weaving.

For a uniform colour, use several bobbins while winding your warp and two shuttles for the weft to distribute any slight colour variations.

The cloth should be finished by washing with a mild soap in hot water. Steam press while it is still damp. The full lustre of the fibre becomes more apparent after washing.

Woven alpaca is suitable for scarves, stoles, knee rugs, ponchos and bags. Set more closely, a hard-wearing cloth suitable for coats and suits can be woven. The textile can also be used for blankets, linings and upholstery. See our range of alpaca fibre and crafted products.

a-spotG.gif (833 bytes)Felting
Alpaca fibres have small smooth scales, like human hair, and thus it is hard to grip its neighbour, which can make the felting process longer, compared to a cross-bred sheep wool.  Use lots of soap and hot and cold water.

Alpaca does felt nicely by itself, very fast, like merino.100% alpaca felted hats come out lovely and soft and still hold their shape. Many people blend a mix of alpaca and wool for felting.

Washed and carded alpaca gives a nice even lay, with less chance for holes to appear. Raw alpaca fibre can be used for applying to wool felt, and could also be used for felting on its own.

a-spotG.gif (833 bytes)Garment Care
Hand wash - warm wash - dry flat - store flat

 

 

 
 


BUY FIBRE

 

  Updated Nov 2017

Nic Cooper and Linda Blake
Main West Coast Road, West Melton, RD1, Christchurch, New Zealand
Phone 0064 3 318-1917 | fax 0064 3 318-1927 | email alpacasnz@xtra.co.nz