Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Here Comes the Alpaca ...Roving That Is!

I just started listing Alpaca roving today at Wind Rose Fiber Studio. The first four colors are Russet, Golden Ochre, Princely Purple and Spruce. I'll be listing four new colors a day for the next four days for a total of 20 gorgeous shades. My focus will be earth tones and fall colors, but I'll probably throw in a couple unexpected shades. I can't resist fun colors.

So what is an Alpaca?? Here's what Wikipedia has to say:

"The Alpaca (Vicugna pacos) is a domesticated species of South American camelid. It resembles a small llama in superficial appearance.

Alpacas are kept in herds that graze on the level heights of the Andes of Ecuador, southern Peru, northern Bolivia, and northern Chile at an altitude of 3500 to 5000 meters above sea-level, throughout the year.[citation needed] Alpacas are considerably smaller than llamas, and unlike them are not used as beasts of burden but are valued only for their fiber. Alpaca fiber is used for making knitted and woven items, much as sheep's wool is. These items include blankets, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, a wide variety of textiles and ponchos in South America, and sweaters, socks, coats and bedding in other parts of the world. The fiber comes in more than 52 natural colors as classified in Peru, 12 as classified in Australia and 16 as classified in the United States. [1] Alpacas and llamas differ in that alpacas have straight ears and llamas have banana-shaped ears. Aside from these differences, llamas are on average 1-2 feet taller and proportionally bigger than alpacas.

In the textile industry, "alpaca" primarily refers to the hair of Peruvian alpacas, but more broadly it refers to a style of fabric originally made from alpaca hair but now often made from similar fibers, such as mohair, Icelandic sheep wool, or even high-quality English wool.[citation needed] In trade, distinctions are made between alpacas and the several styles of mohair and luster."

The Alpaca I'm using is imported from Peru. It's a fine, 21 micron white Alpaca. It's very soft and lovely to spin. Felters seem to like working with Alpaca too. If you've never tried Alpaca, maybe it's time!

No comments: