Saturday, 8 August 2009

Fibre of the Gods

Well, now I really know why alpaca is known as "the fibre of the gods"!

Sheila from Scalpay Linen came to visit today to show me the fibre samples she had spun for us. Wow! I just can't stop touching it - it is unbelieveably soft and looks amazing! Thank you Sheila!!

Jasmine's fleece is the small, golden - caramel coloured sample (Maybe it could be called "Highland Toffee" - remember those chewy bars you used to get at school?)

The skein underneath came from only a handful of Tara's blanket (the best part which is shorn from the alpaca's back), and it is a beautiful, creamy white colour. (Crowdie and Cream??)
A few alpaca fibre facts:
Alpaca fibre is incredibly soft, fine and lustrous and although it is less well known than cashmere, alpaca has all the same qualities that makes cashmere a sought after luxury
It is lighter, warmer and three times stronger than sheep wool
It is one of the strongest natural fibres, second only to silk
The fibre grows continuously, and an alpaca will produce 2-3 kilos per year on shearing
There are 22 natural shades of alpaca, from white through shades of grey to black, and from cream through shades of fawn and chestnut to chocolate brown
Alpaca fibre doesn't contain any lanolin so is suitable for those who have allergies to sheep wool
Sheila has taken Jasmine's blanket away to handspin into yarn - now I need to get my thinking cap on to come up with some super designs and patterns to do Jasmine and Sheila justice!
Just one teeny, weeny problem...I can't knit!


  1. It was a pleasure doing the samples - I'm looking forward to spinning up the blanket!
    Love the alpacas - even more gorgeous in the flesh than in the photos. Can't wait for the crias to start arriving....

  2. wish I had seen them before you took it up the clisham Sheila, ut no doubt I'll see the other yarn before you send it over....

  3. There is no wrong in calling alpaca fiber as god's fiber. Till now I don't there are 22 different shades in alpaca fiber. I collected lot of information from your post. Thanks for sharing with us.

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