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Hand Spinning (Alpaca)

Discussion in 'Homemade Products' started by odd_duck99, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. Apr 18, 2013
    ORChick

    ORChick Almost Self-Reliant

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    Except that the OP said she has unlimited access to alpaca fiber, for free, and she would (presumably) have to pay for sheep's wool. I was in sort of the same position several years ago. Not "unlimited", but I was given the shearings from 4 alpacas from 3 years - that is a lot of fiber! It was divided up into "best", "good", and dirty tag ends. The dirty, short bits ended up in the garden as mulch; I practiced with the "good" fiber, and, you're right, made some pretty ugly yarn. But there was (and still is :lol:) enough of it to keep on practicing till I got better. And I have done some nice yarn with the "best". I have never spun sheep's wool. Several people said that I should put aside the alpaca till I was more proficient, as wool is so much easier. But I had lots of one, and none of the other, so I just went at it. And, I figure by the time I am through the myriad boxes that are stacked in my sewing room, I will be able to spin anything. (I'll also be too old to think about starting something new :lol:)

    The reason I haven't commented on this thread before is that I had access to carders - both hand and drum - through an acquaintance, and so have no experience with using substitutes.
     
  2. May 13, 2013
    PacasNChicks

    PacasNChicks Enjoys Recycling

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    Interesting info ... I am moving from the Valley here in AZ, up to the White Mts and as soon as I get moved in, 4 Alpaca's are being delivered! I am so excited to learn how to spin ... I have 3 adult females and one has a cria approx 5 months old. My pure black is Alicia, Mother and daughter are Contessa and Lady Jane which are med fawns and my white girl is Sparkles! All 3 of the females will be bred in July of this and next year ( comes in the price paid for them ) and I'm hoping to buy a male she has, Tobias who is absolutely gorgeous! long sweeping eyelashes and the sweetest thing ever.
    She knows a friend who is selling a spinning wheel fairly cheap as her husband died and he was the one who was going to learn to spin. Kathy, does it all ... she has had Paca's for almost 13 years and half the time, she gives the shorn fleece to a lady in town who does all the prep work so all she has to do is Spin. Back when she didn't have as many Paca's was when she did all the preperation. Now, she is too busy to do anything but the spinning!
    What I would like to know is ... approx how much can you sell an ounce of spun fleece for these days? Any info would be helpful! I am soooooooooooooooo excited to get up North so I can have my Paca's!!!
    I am also going to have chickens and have 12 babies that I'm raising here til I get up North... this city girl with a country heart is excited to be all Country!!!
     
  3. May 14, 2013
    ORChick

    ORChick Almost Self-Reliant

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    :welcome


    I haven't tried selling any, so can't answer your question. I can say that the woman who gave me the fiber initially essentially said that doing whatever was necessary to sell the raw fleece wasn't worth her time and effort, which is why she gave it to me. Now, I don't know what that would have entailed; whether she meant getting the word out that she had it, or whether she was meaning that she felt she would have to get it cleaned and prepared for spinning. Whatever it was, she did not feel that the return would be worth the effort. I have an acquaintance here in town with a wool shop (she showed me the ropes at first, and lent me some equipment). I tried to pay her with some of the fleece, but she said pretty much the same: raw fleece wasn't cost effective for her. Perhaps the fleece I have isn't good enough quality, but it might also be that the market for such things is very low now, at least in Oregon. I don't know, but I'm having fun with the process.
     
  4. May 15, 2013
    PacasNChicks

    PacasNChicks Enjoys Recycling

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    thanks ... all I know so far, is ... once an Alpaca is shorn, the fleece from each Alpaca goes into a bag and is marked with the name of the Alpaca and in the Wt Mts where I will be, can be sold for approx $75.00
    That fleece would need to be cleaned carded and I'm sure some other things ( which, eventually, I want to learn) but I've heard that the fleece, once it's spun can be sold for $15 an ounce. I just wonder how many "ounces" are spun from one Alpaca! I am driving up for a walk thru on my new home this coming weekend, I'll have to ask the lady who is selling me the Alpacas. thanks for your info!
     
  5. Aug 14, 2019
    creativetwinszoo

    creativetwinszoo Almost Self-Reliant

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    I know this is an older post but you Lucky ducky! I got about 7 oz. Of alpaca for a birthday gift 2 years ago, it was super lovely and I enjoyed spinning it! It was so soft and smooth, like spinning butter almost! I can't wait to be able to get more someday!
    If you haven't already I'd say splurge and get the carders or a carder board, I tried the dog brushes for both wool and alpaca and didn't like the result personally. If it's all I had available then I'd suggest getting the biggest finetoothed dog brushes you can and just go slow and don't load the brushes up with too much fiber, maybe gently tease the chunks open with a comb before carding too.
     
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