Panorama from the Farm

Raw fibre, cria fleeces

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Usually we process our raw fibre, but occasionally make some available for hand spinners, especially cria fleeces which are delightfully soft and very long. This raw fibre has been carefully skirted to remove most of the vegetable matter (VM).
Alpaca has very little suint but does have wax, with embedded dirt and dust. Before spinning this fibre, you should wash it to remove the wax and grit.

Washing tips: Prepare the fleece by opening the staples in the case of suri fibre. Use a container of warm water with a metal or plastic basket to hold the fibre in the water. Use a wool wash according to the manufacturer's instructions. Be gentle and soak rather than agitate.

Allow a couple of days for this process, and preferably soak the first wash overnight.
Decant onto the lawn, then re-fill with warm water and add half as much wool wash as before. Soak again for at least half an hour. The first couple of bowls will be very gritty and should be decanted onto the lawn rather than clogging up your drain. Later bowls should be OK to drain.
Repeat the decant/refill/soak for the third time but with even less wool wash.
The next decant / refill / soak is rinse only with no detergent. This is the last one if you are going to dye the fibre immediately.
The next decant / refill / soak is with a small amount of hair conditioner.
Spin-only to remove excess water. Dry flat on a rack, turning occasionally and pulling apart clumps.

Once washed and dried, your alpaca fibre can be carded or blended and spun. If you decide to dye your fibre later, don't forget to first soak it in detergent solution to strip out the conditioner otherwise the dye will be uneven.

Return to the raw fibre prices