A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

April 29, 2007

Sorting Out The Information

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Fiber, Alpacas, camelids, General — alpacalady @ 7:48 am

Yesterday was, as expected, a day packed with information.  Robyn Kuhl and Carrie Hull of Coarse Broads, Inc.  shared with us their ideas and knowledge, reinforcing some things we already knew and giving us many new ideas and concepts to consider.  The seminar educated us as to how we can get the maximum use from all of the fiber we harvest from our alpacas, and how we can ensure that the quality of the products produced from our alpaca fiber is high and desirable. 

One of the main messages of the seminar was that when it comes to fiber processing the uniformity of the fiber is key.  If we sort our fiber correctly to make collective lots that are uniform in fineness, length and color, and educate ourselves as to which grade of fiber is best used for which end product, the quality of our end products will be high and we will be more able to obtain the best profit from our fleeces.  If we produce high quality products that feel good to the consumer and that perform and hold up well to use then the word will spread as to how wonderful alpaca products are.  If the alpaca industry as a whole does not make efforts to ensure the products made from our fleece are consistently of high quality then the consumer may be unhappy with their purchase and as we all know bad news travels faster than good and that would not be good for the alpaca industry.

Obviously there is way too much information to include here, but the seminar really made me think even more about how we are going to handle the sorting of our fleeces and also gave me new ideas for products that we can have made from our fiber.  The day was a great one and I can heartily recommend that if you are an alpaca breeder or someone who is contemplating being an alpaca breeder that you take this seminar.

 Alpaca is such a wonderful fiber that in addition to being fine and light weight has some unique attributes such as being fire retardant and being able to absorb moisture.  The possibilities for alpaca fiber are endless, the alpaca industry just needs to continue to work on those possibilities and develop the products for retail sale.

Today’s seminar focuses on evaluating alpacas, which will help us not only to evaluate any alpacas we may be looking to purchase but also those within our existing herds.  I am sure there will be some good discussion on the information presented and that it will be another interesting and informative day.

Back at the ranch Ric and some of our friends managed to get another 10 alpacas shorn and all went well with the shearing.   Queen still has not had her cria, but Ric noticed that she was isolating herself more from the herd yesterday which may be a promising sign.  Ric had a long day and when I spoke to him last night he was more than ready to sit back and relax for the evening.

There will be a brief New Mexico Alpaca Breeders meeting this afternoon and then it’s time for the long drive home.  Thank goodness for a comfortable truck and books on tape both of which will make the drive home more pleasant, plus I now have an alpaca “Energy Mat” to sit on for my drive home – more on that later!


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