One finished ball of yarn takes well over a year in the growing and making and much care and love is put into every step of the process:
Each year in the Spring we shear our alpacas ourselves. Not only does it make sure they are nice and cool during the summer months but it also means we are able 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 22 official natural colours ranging from white, beige, fawn, brown, grey, black and plenty in-between
The scales on the fibre itself are flatter and lower in number than wool which makes it soft, shiny and less scratchy particularly around the face – so great for scarfs and hats!
It contains no lanolin making it hypo-allergenic and perfect for children or those who suffer with sensitivity to other fabrics such as sheep’s wool.
It is light weight, but strong, a great insulator but also cool to the touch.
It has a natural shine and a lovely drape, 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 by hand to ensure only the softest parts of the fleece go into our yarns. The fibre is then sent off to be tumbled, carded and spun and some is dyed at the Border Mill, specialists in Alpaca Yarn. You can read about the full process here.
Alpaca Yarn Categories
Our alpaca yarns are classed according to how fine each fibre is (which is measured in microns) combined with the ‘comfort factor’ or how soft they are against your skin.
Royal Alpaca – Less than 20 Microns
The softest of the soft, often compared to cashmere as the closest and softest natural fibre. Perfect for those with extra sensitive skin or for the ultimate luxurious and special make.
Baby Alpaca – 20 to 22 Microns
Still beautifully soft and not far off Royal Alpaca. Also brilliant for fine knitting, scarves, baby blankets and any other item close to the skin. Fact: Baby Alpaca does not actually have to come from a baby alpaca, this grade can come from alpacas that are several years of age.
Fine Alpaca – 23 to 26 Microns
What it is beginning to lose in softness, this grade makes up in versatility – perfect for medium weight knitting, plus we have jewellery, headbands, gloves, keepsakes all made out of our Fine Alpaca range.
Medium – Robust Alpaca – Over 26 Micron
Although becoming prickly against the skin, this thickness of alpaca fibre makes for a hardwearing yarn, perfect for rugs, throws, bags, or other interior homeware items. Often combined with a sheep’s wool or another fibre to give added strength.
Please Note – Each of our colour batches are unique and a one-off and we are unable to reproduce exact yarns once they are sold out – so make sure to purchase as much as you need if working on a project. Please get in touch if you would like to request a specific amount.