The UK produces about 10 tonnes of fibre a year from a national herd size of around 14,000 registered animals. However, while this isn't adequate to fulfil demand from abroad, it's more than adequate to fulfil demand from the fibre craft industry at home. Spinners, felters, handknitters and weavers love working with alpaca fibres because it is beautifully soft, hypoallergenic and comes in an array of natural colours. The UK breed registry currently recognises only 12 colours, although internationally there are more than 22 colours (see below) and over 200 shades.
The fleece of a full-grown alpaca can weight anything between 3.5kg up to 7.5kg and, as beautiful as the raw fleece is, many crafters prefer to use rovings, which is fleece that has been washed and combed.
There are several recognised gradings of fleece:
- Superbaby – 19–20 microns
- Baby – under 21 microns
- Fine – between 22–26 microns
- Coarse – 30–32 microns
However, although micron count is important, it's the overall feel of the fleece, or the handle, that is prized, making grading a slow very hands-on process.
Garyeannna Alpacas fleece
Our alpacas regularly produce fleece which is sent for processing into rovings and yarn. All of our fleeces are for sale as follows:
- Full fleeces
- Available in white, fawn, medium brown, chocolate brown and black
Please contact us for prices.