Every year our alpacas are sheared here at Little Orchard Alpacas, at the beginning of the summer. Not only does it make sure they are nice and cool during the hotter months but it also means we get to make lovely soft alpaca yarn out of the fibre they produce!

Apart from it’s softness, alpaca fibre is special for many reasons…

  • It comes in up to 26 natural colours ranging from white, beige, fawn brown, grey, black and plenty in-between
  • It has less scales on the fibre itself than wool which makes it soft and less scratchy particularly around the face, so great for scarfs and hats!
  • It contains no lanolin so does not need to be scoured before processing.
  • The lack of lanolin makes it hypo-allergenic and perfect for children or those who suffer with sensitivity to other fabrics such as wool.
  • It is light weight and durable, a great insulator but also cool to the touch.
  • It has a natural shine, which makes for beautiful garments.

Once shearing is complete, we pick out as much dirt and plant matter as possible and then sort and skirt the fleeces to ensure only the best bits go into our yarns.

The fibre is then sent off to be cleaned, carded and spun at the Border Mill, specialists in Alpaca Yarn. You can read about the full process here.