Celebrate the Alpaca
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About Alpaca Fiber
Alpacas are shorn, without harm, every 12 to 18 months, producting five to 10 pounds of luxurious fiber. Long ago, alpaca fiber was reserved for royalty. Today, it is purchased in its raw fleece form by hand-spinners and fiber artists. Knitters buy it as yarn.
Because of its soft texture, alpaca fiber is sometimes compared to cashmere. Making the fiber even more coveted is its luster, which resembles silk. Alpaca is just as warm as wool, yet 1/3 the weight. It comes in 22 natural colors, and can be dyed any shade.
Containing no lanolin, alpaca fiber is also naturally hypoallergenic. Most people who are sensitive to wool find they can wear alpaca without the itching or irritation because alpaca fiber is smooth. Additional performance characteristics include: stretch, water repellency and odor reduction. For travelers, clothing made from alpaca is desirable because it is wrinkle-resistant.
Headquartered in Nashville, the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA) serves to facilitate the expansion of a sustainable alpaca industry through the growth and development of the national herd and its products. Since AOBA’s formation in 1988, its membership has grown steadily to more than 4,000 with more than 150,000 registered alpacas in North America.
To learn more about the alpaca industry, visit the AOBA website. For more information click here: National Alpaca Farm Days.
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