Alpaca Fiber: Are seconds worth saving?
Beautiful Alpaca "seconds"
I want to thank Toby Smischny at Turner Ridge Alpacas in Palermo, telephone #993-2816 for selling me his beautiful Alpaca seconds. I couldn't wait to start sorting, skirting and washing 1 of the 13 different bags of adult and cria Alpaca fiber bags Toby brought over to my house during our sheep meeting yesterday evening! The Kennebec Valley Sheep Breeders meet monthly. We take turns holding meetings at our homes. The next meeting here I would love to take you on a tour of my fleece cleaning area in my barn.
The fiber he brought over came in many colors. Each of them were more delightful than the last. I have never seen so many colors and no course fibers? I had to call Toby and ask why his fiber is so much softer than some Alpaca fiber I have purchased from other farms. He said his Alpacas are known for their softer guard hairs. Correct me Toby, if I have this wrong. I have one very soft gray pile of fiber drying on my kitchen table.
How do I clean Alpaca? I shake out most of the hay and foreign matter. I then fill my washing machine with hot water, add 1/2 cup of Dawn dish detergent and then put in the alpaca fiber and push it under the water with an old golf club (don't tell my husband!). Leave it for about an hour and then spin it out. I then fill my washer with clean hot water and push the fiber under the water again and let it set about an hour and again spin it out. I then take it out of the washer and shake it out on top of my kitchen table to dry. In the mean time I start another fleece in my washer and go thru the same cleaning process.