We get many commonly asked questions, so we thought we'd answer some of them here. If you have a questions to which you don't see an answer, please feel free to contact us and let us know what it is. Perhaps we will add it to the list! Enjoy....
An alpaca is a fiber animal in the camelid family along with camels, llamas, vicunas & guanacos.
An alpaca is about half the size of a llama. They have smaller ears, a bit of a "jumpier" disposition and are too small to be used as pack animals. Many llamas are used as livestock guardians, but most alpacas do not have the personality for this purpose.
Yes. All camelids spit. But only an alpaca who was improperly raised will spit at people. Spitting is a form of communication between themselves - much like dogs growl at each other.
Most people who cannot wear wool CAN wear alpaca. This is because alpaca fiber does NOT have lanolin, which wool does. This is the major allergen to wool. Also generally, alpaca has a much finer micron than wool, so there is not as much of the "itch" factor that wool has. The exception to this is Merino wool which has a very fine micron, but still contains lanolin.
Yes. Alpaca does not have the memory that wool has. This can be resolved by blending with wool or using smaller needles or a stitch element like cables which can help hold it's shape.
Alpaca generally is not itchy if of high quality. As with any fiber, there are superior and inferior fibers depending on where on the animal the fiber came from, age of the animal, diet, hormones, etc. But in general a "baby alpaca" grade of alpaca is not itchy.
We have some yarns which are 100% baby alpaca, and others that are a blend of 70% baby alpaca and 30% Mulberry Silk.
We use acid wash dyes to dye our yarns. We occasionally use natural dyes but we find we cannot get the saturation, or variety of colors using them. We also find that the Acid Wash dyes are much more light fast.