Why the fleece of course!
Why do we all raise alpacas? Why, the fleece of course!
This year, 2009, has been named by the United Nations as the International Year of Natural Fibers. Alpaca fleece is a natural fiber! You can read about the United Nations’ overview of alpaca fleece at http://www.naturalfibres2009.org/en/fibres/alpaca.html. There has also been a non-profit organization established, in cooperation with Heifer International, to celebrate this United Nations declaration, called http://www.keepthefleece.org/. Their goal is to build the largest fiber flock in the world. What a goal!
We are so happy to be part of this growing community of alpaca fiber producers. We have lots and lots of bags of many, many pounds of fleece (well, for us it’s quite a lot!) and are still deciding on which fleeces to be processed where. Someday I will learn to spin, but for now we will send it out for processing. Some will be sent to our wonderful, local mini-mill, Sallie's Fen Fibers, to be made into yarn, some will be made into yarn through our preferred co-op, NAAFP, and still some will be made into wonderful rugs. Because this is still such a new venture for us, we prefer to get our own fleece/yarn back, which will also serve our ‘locally grown’ clientele well. But also as a business which supports a growing industry (alpaca textile), we realize that joining a co-op is a sound decision. The NAAFP co-op’s regional collection facility as well as their commercial mill is here in New Hampshire! So not only will the co-op’s yarns have our fleece in it, the co-op’s yarn is locally made in regards to our farm! We’re thrilled.
And how could we not be thrilled? Alpaca is the absolute best fiber there is!
Even though it is now October, it is still not too late to join in the celebration of the International Year of Natural Fibers. Whether you knit, crochet or weave, you’ll enjoy working with alpaca!