DIY- Alpaca Wool Terms and How to Wash the Fiber

DIY- Alpaca Wool Terms and How to Wash the FiberWe have gathered some important information about Alpaca fiber that is turned into Alpaca yarn in this blog that we would love to share:

Alpaca Fiber Terms

Some regular terms that a person comes across while handling Alpaca fiber are as follows;

Raw- This fiber is right from the animal. There is no washing, dirt cleaning or any other sanitization done to the material.

Picked- This means that the fiber has been manually picked by human labor and grass and other material has been removed. But it’s not possible to pick out all the vegetable matter. This fact should be kept in consideration.

Staple- The length of a fiber is called staple. This length determines the comfort a craftsman will have in working with the fiber.

Crimp- when a fiber is kinking, it’s called crimp. The usual myth says that more kinking a fiber is, softer the material will be.

Carded- When the fiber has been combed with hand or machine and each individual fiber has been aligned, the processed material is called carded. This process creates batts or roves. These roves and batts are now ready to be spun and felted.

Cria- Cria is a baby Alpaca and Cria fleece s first done when the baby is one year old.

Opened Fleece- When the fiber has been fluffed and separated as to make room for cleaning and preparing for carding is sometimes called as picked.

Blanket- The fiber picked from the thickest and rich areas of the animal are called blankets. These areas are behind the neck and front of the hind quarters. The fiber that is taken from legs, back quarters and neck area is called ‘seconds’ and is also a good quality fiber to be turned into Alpaca yarn.

How to Wash Your Fiber;

Some people do not like to wash their fiber before using it, yet I wash my fiber because that gives it a clean outlook. The process for this is as follows;

  • Collect the fiber in lingerie bags and use detergent for cleaning.
  • Fill the washing machine with hot water, add soap and dip the bags filled with fiber, up and down the water. Let the bags soak in hot water for half an hour and then put the washer on spin. Spin out the fiber and avoid letting it rub against anything as it will shrink or felt the fiber. Now rinse with water as many times as necessary.
  • Spread the fiber in open air to dry it and dry it thoroughly before storing it again.

We hope that these tips and terms help you in handling your Alpaca fiber better. And you make great Alpaca yarn from the cleaned fiber.

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