Kinkora Farm Alpacas

22 Years and still growing

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Product Options

Size: Blankets are 2 to 5 pounds
Color: Greys, Browns, and Blacks

Firsts, seconds and thirds

Raw fleece

List Price: $24.00
Price: $12.00
You Save: $12.00 (50%)

Options & Payment

Order by Phone: 609-893-5552

Shipping & Handling

Sold by the pound.
40 plus blankets in stock, including baby fleece.
Please ask about shipping cost.



Product Specs

  • Prime blankets in Browns, Greys, and Blacks:
  • $9 to $22 per pound.

Product Description

Alpaca fleece is the natural fiber harvested from an alpaca. It is light or heavy in weight, depending on how it is spun. It is a soft, durable, luxurious and silky natural fiber. While similar to sheep’s wool, it is warmer, not prickly, and has no lanolin, which makes it hypoallergenic. Alpaca is naturally water-repellent and difficult to ignite. Huacaya, an alpaca that grows soft spongy fiber, has natural crimp, thus making a naturally elastic yarn well-suited for knitting. Suri has far less crimp and thus is a better fit for woven goods. Alpaca fleece is made into various products, from very simple and inexpensive garments made by the aboriginal communities to sophisticated, industrially made and expensive products such as suits. In the United States, groups of smaller alpaca breeders have banded together to create "fiber co-ops," to make the manufacture of alpaca fiber products less expensive. I belong to the Natural Fiber Producers coop which is where I send my harvest after suppling my customers with the choice fleeces each year.

Fiber structure:
Alpaca fiber is similar in structure to sheep wool fiber. Its softness comes from the small diameter of the fiber, similar to merino wool. Its glossiness is due to low height of the individual fiber scales compared to sheep wool. Alpaca fibers have a higher tensile strength than wool fibers. In processing, slivers lack fiber cohesion and single alpaca rovings lack strength. Blend these together and the durability is increased several times over. More twisting is necessary, especially in Suri, and this can reduce a yarn's softness.
The alpaca has a very fine and light fleece. It does not retain water, is thermal even when wet and can resist solar radiation effectively. These characteristics guarantee the animals a permanent and appropriate coat to protect against extreme changes of temperature. This fiber offers the same protection to humans.

Medullation:
Medullated fibers are fibers with a central core, which may be continuous, interrupted, or fragmented. Here, the cortical cells that make up the walls of the fiber, are wrapped around a medulla, or core, that is made up of another type of cell (called medullary cells). Later, these cells may contract or disappear, forming air pockets which assist insulation. Medullation can be an objectionable trait. Medullated fibers can take less dye, standing out in the finished garment, and are weaker. The proportion of medullated fibers is higher in the coarser, unwanted guard hairs: there is less or no medullation in the finer, lower micrometer fibers. These undesirable fibers are easy to see and give a garment a hairy appearance. Quality alpaca products should be free from these medullated fibers.

Quality:
Good quality alpaca fiber is approximately 18 to 25 micrometers in diameter. While breeders report fiber can sell for US$2 to 4 per ounce, the world wholesale price for processed, spun alpaca “tops” is only between about $10 to $24/kg (according to quality), i.e. about $0.28 to $0.68 per oz. Finer fleeces, ones with a smaller diameter, are preferred, so are more expensive. As an alpaca gets older, the diameter of the fibers gets thicker, between 1 µm and 5 µm per year. This is sometimes caused by overfeeding; as excess nutrients are converted to (thicker) fiber rather than to fat.

Elite alpaca breeders in the United States are attempting to breed animals with fleece that does not degrade in quality as the animals age. They are looking for lingering fineness (fiber diameters remaining under 20 micrometers) for aging animals. It is believed this lingering fineness is heritable and thus can be improved more and more over time.
As with all fleece-producing animals, quality varies from animal to animal, and some alpacas produce fiber which is less than ideal. Fiber and conformation are the two most important factors in determining an alpaca's value.
Alpacas come in 22 natural colors, with more than 300 shades from a true-blue black through browns-black, browns, fawns, white, silver-greys, and rose-greys. However, white is predominant, because of selective breeding: the white fiber can be dyed in the largest ranges of colors. In South America, the preference is for white, as they generally have better fleece than the darker-colored animals. The demand for darker fiber sprung up in the United States and elsewhere, though, to reintroduce the colors, but the quality of the darker fiber has decreased slightly. Breeders have been diligently working on breeding dark animals with exceptional fiber, and much progress has been made over the last few years.