The Fleece

Alpacas produce a wonderful soft, strong and dense fleece that is highly sought after by the high-priced end of the fashion and designer markets.  As the numbers of alpacas grow and a local fleece industry can become established this should provide a useful return. It is ‘hair’ rather than wool, is made of hollow fibres and has wonderful insulating qualities

The Fleece

Alpaca fibre has been a significant part of the South American economy for many years. It is well known and traded successfully in the international market place. The yarn, cloth and finished products command high prices.

Technical details Judged by its cellular composition alpaca fibre is more akin to hair than to wool. Each fibre has a medullated core consisting of air-filled cells the sequence of which can be continuous or interrupted. This gives the fibres their strength and excellent insulating characteristics. Its strength is second only to that of silk and each fibre has significantly fewer scales than sheep wool fibres. This is thought to be part of the reason why alpaca fibre leads to so few allergic reactions, compared to sheep’s wool Guard hair (secondary coat) is the name given to the coarse hairs that can add to the ‘itch’ of the fleece. This hair is generally found only on the chest and legs and not in the main body of the fleece, thus contributing to the overall softness of the fleece and its products. Fibre diameter is generally between 20 and 35 microns, up to 20-22 microns is considered to be excellent.


Quantity Annual shearing produces between 2.5 to 5 Kg of fleece from adults (whole and gelded males as well as females). Cria produced the finest fleeces in their first year but only in small quantities. The quantity and quality of fleece should see steady improvements as the result of a carefully controlled breeding programme.


Colours Alpaca fibre comes in more colours than any other natural fibre. The numbers of colours claimed or differentiated ranges from 22 to 40. Colours range from black through a variety of greys, from charcoal to white including blue-greys, almost green-greys and the beautiful rose-greys and wonderful almost purple tones, and from dark brown through a variety of browns, fawns, beiges and creams to white.

The Fleece

News and Sale

Gelded (non-breeding) alpcasa for protection from foxes
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Come and visit - Saturday afternoon/evening December 2nd
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Shearing in June 17th or 18th
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Shearing 1
Shearing 1
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Our Alpaca Shop
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