Cape Making; How to Make a Simple yet Elegant Poncho

Cape Making; How to Make a Simple yet Elegant PonchoDo you like Alpaca capes in winter? Who doesn’t? It provides sheen and a style to all stuffy clothes and sweaters and warm clothes that cover our entire existence. Making a cape is fun, simple and very cool. These capes can be used for fashion design as well as costume making. This design has been in use for ages to keep a person warm and is considered a status symbol by some cultures. They are a part of cultures all across the world, from Russian folklore of Red Riding Hood to modern tales of crime and punishment in the Batman and Superman series.

The first method for making capes is simple and requires items that are readily available at home. These Alpaca capes are called Over- Throw Capes or ponchos. This cape is open from both sides and spreads on your shoulders.

Instructions:

  • Take out a blanket, sheet or any other suitable fabric. This fabric needs to be large enough to go over the shoulders of the wearer and cover the torso and upper body of the person.
  • Now cut this cloth into a rectangular or square shape. Rectangular shape offers more room and more space. To avoid fraying, stitch it from all sides.
  • Now fold the piece of cloth into half, find the focal point at the top of the folded cloth. This is where you will make a circle for the head to come out.
  • Now cut the head and neck hole. This step can be taken in two ways; using a fabric marker, draw a half circle into the focal point. Now cut out the half circle but as you are cutting the two sides, it will cut out as a full circle. A simpler way is to simply slit through the center across the fabric.
  • Again, to prevent fraying, stitch around the circle. You can use simple stitching styles like blanket stitch and others. If you want to decorate the center edge, use a fancy stitch like a braid around the whole.

Cape Making; How to Make a Simple yet Elegant PonchoThis Alpaca cape is usable in all kinds of ways; you can use it as a fashion trend or when the weather is mildly cold. Or you can use it at a Native American themed party to claim your rightful role as an elder. This can be used to make medieval tunics as well by simply adding a belt and making sleeves.

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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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Alpaca Clothing Stores- The Peruvian Origins and the Andes Roots

Alpaca Clothing Stores- The Peruvian Origins and the Andes RootsAlpaca sweater is coming more and more in fashion. This material is soft, fancy and much warmer than any other material. Alpaca clothing stores are opening all across the globe and fashion designers from US, Asia and Europe are becoming more and more attracted to using this material in their winter collection and designs. As Alpaca fiber is imported from Peru, the discovery of this fiber has also shed some light on Peruvian culture and clothing style. Peruvian apparel is becoming all the more desirable and attractive to the international fashionistas.

Alpaca and Peruvian Trends

Many of Peruvian clothing trends revolve around Alpaca fiber anyhow as alpaca stocks are a naturally occurring phenomenon of the region. Many areas of this region utilize Alpaca fiber for their clothing needs as well as aspirations as this fiber is abundantly available to the local cloth makers. But as the warmth, strength, lightness and hypoallergenic nature of the material makes it more attractive to the international market, the international fashion gurus look to the first designers of Alpaca clothing, the Peruvians.

This wool is available naturally in a very long range of colors and shades. Consequently, the same range of colors dominates the Peruvian fashion sense and clothing combinations. Many fashion designers take these designs and color combinations to create their own seasonal collection of Alpaca wear.

This material is also famous in traditional Peruvian clothing because the material of these clothes is light and warm, so that an Alpaca sweater feels very light and warm to the skin unlike regular woolen sweaters that are heavy and stuffy. When wearing a normal woolen sweater an entire day, a person may feel hot, sticky and stuffy but an Alpaca sweater will always feel light. But it will be either as much warm or even warmer than any other usual cotton sweater.

Alpaca- The Animal

The Alpacas are relatives of camels, as their physical appearance clearly shows. These creatures have lived in Andes for thousands of years and eventually adapted to the harsh and extreme weathers, rough mountains, strong climate and all other rough patches that these mountains have to offer. This wool is not only durable and water resistant but softer than a sheep’s wool as well. This wool is used in making of garments ranging from jackets to blankets to sweaters. Alpaca is unique in a sense that it holds warmth in it even when it is wet. As it is made out of a natural and renewable resource, it is also gentle to the ecosystem.

These clothes are a must try and a definite buy. We would surely encourage you to take a Peruvian turn in style and try something Alpaca.

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Alpacas- The Mystical Beings That Produce Glorious Fiber

Alpacas- The Mystical Beings That Produce Glorious FiberAlpaca is an animal that is bred all across the United States to procure fiber. This animal is famous for its unique beauty and charisma. These animals are easy to fall in love with and each seems to have an individuality just waiting to be discovered. This is one of the significant reasons why alpacas are famous in the United States.

Alpaca Fiber

Alpaca is considered a luxurious thread as it is still not commercially processed by large mills of America. Alpaca yarn is processed by either the owners of the animal or small cottage mills all across the United States. This is the prime reason for the fiber’s exclusive identity. The other important factor is that this material is light weight and still is thrice as warm as normal wool. This material is hypoallergenic, completely lanolin- free and yet extremely strong and soft. The fiber has sixteen naturally occurring shades ranging from white to fawn to brown, black and grey. They are also dye-able in all colors. They do not lose their gloss or quality in the dying process either. They are an absolute delight for the hand spinners. They are converted from raw fiber to Alpaca yarn, Alpaca socks, Alpaca gloves, hats and many other winter garments. Many ranches are converting fiber into bats for spinning, quilting and felting for rovers.

Alpaca users are presented with enormous variety of production possibilities. Felted alpaca is used to make beautiful hats, purses as well vests. Alpaca yarn is used in knitting scarves, gloves etc.

Alpaca Breeding

Alpaca breeders are famous for their love for the animal. Alpacas are beautiful and peaceful animals and their owners put their well being and breeding above everything else. Alpaca breeding is done as a part time job by individuals from a vast professional diversity and yet some breeders are in alpaca breeding business as a day job. Yet the part time breeders of alpacas also yearn for the day when they will be raising alpacas as their main profession.

A baby alpaca is called ‘Cria’. Alpacas are inter- bred for developing more diverse breeds by the owners on a regular basis.

Alpacas have a beautiful habit of humming and their love and lack of hostility makes them very good pets as well. Perhaps, the good nature of an Alpaca is the reason Alpaca yarn is so exceptionally beautiful and amazing.

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