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What are alpaca farm products?

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Alpaca farm products include fiber and all types of clothing made from it

Alpaca farm products include fiber and all types of clothing made from it

What are alpaca farm products? First off, what is an alpaca?

A member of the South American camelid family, an alpaca is a relative of the camel and llama. All members of this family possess feet featuring two toes and thick fibrous soles.

Not as big as a llama, it stands between 32 and 39 inches in height and weighs between 100 and 200 pounds. It lives up to a quarter of a century.

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The animal has a highly efficient digestive system because it possesses three stomach compartments. It eats grass and alfalfa. The creature produces peak quality fiber, which is a renewable resource.

The Fiber

Shorn annually, the fiber is sold. The goal of the farmer is to increase fiber thickness or the number of pounds of fiber shorn per animal, while striving to lower the fineness (micron) of the fiber. The more fiber and the better the fiber the more money the farmer makes.

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If you see one sporting dreadlocks, this animal is a Suri. Another type, the Huacaya, has long, crimpy fibers standing up and creating the appearance of a Teddy bear or cotton ball.

The fiber from both types of animals is much sought after because of its softness, strength and warmth. The color of the fiber ranges from silver-grey to brown, white ivory to rose-gray to black. The fiber can be dyed without losing its sheen. These animals are bred specifically for their fiber production.

The fiber is rain resistant and doesn’t cause allergic reactions (they are hypoallergenic) or itchiness because of its smoothness and lack of lanolin. Products made from this fiber, including hats, gloves, scarves, purses, shawls, wall hangings, can be washed. These items last a long time.

Benefits

Comfortable, particularly in cold weather, the fiber possesses exceptionally good thermal qualities and stays warn when when wet. The fiber resists odors and provides breathability and wicking (pulling out) of body moisture. It keeps the wearer dry.

Fire resistant, it won’t melt. It does not pill or mat. The fiber is naturally wind- and winkle resistant with low static.

Items made from this fiber are easy to care for, strong and resilient. The fiber is fine, possessing little guard hair. Visually appealing, the fiber possesses a rich, silky luster.

The fiber resists abrasion better than Merino wool and has a higher tensile potency than wool. It does not retain water and does defy solar radiation. There is no smell to the fiber. It is natural and adaptable.

The Animal

  • The alpaca is an intelligent and social animal. It communicates via gentle humming sounds and body posturing.

  • The creature gives birth easily.

  • Herding dogs are not required because the camelid comes when called. It is a docile creature.

  • The excrement equals good fertilizer and is odorless.

  • The animal grazes and chews its cud. It has a split upper lip which prevents it from damaging roots.

  • The creature is easily trained, eats less than other farm animals and adapts to various habitats.

  • The animal does not require tail docking. It is not prone to lice infestations, foot rot or blowfly strike.
 

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