Hidden Bend Retreat, Romney West Virginia

Romney, WV

Friday, February 15, 2013

Alpaca Shearing

We spent a couple of days in April, 2012 at the local farm where we bought our alpacas. Terrie, at Bear Garden Farms, invites all the owners of the alpacas that are being boarded (agisted) at their farm or potential owners to help for the two days. There were over 120 alpacas sheared and it's quite the process. Everyone is assigned a job and the shearers are kept busy. Key to progress is keeping a fresh alpaca on the mat for the shearers so they are maximizing their production. The shearer, Matt Best, came in from New England and makes his rounds to multiple farms throughout the spring and summer.

Alpacas are usually sheared in the spring in this area of the country, this gives them some relief from the heat over the summer but gives the fleece time to grow back in for protection from the cold in the winter. The pictures show one of our alpacas, his name is Tuxedo, being sheared. What a difference once he's done!

Here is the fleece from Tuxedo on a skirting table at home. This is when the fiber is sorted and bits of dirt and vegetable manner are pulled out. The next picture is some of the fiber after it has been run through a carding machine and formed in to a batt. This aligns the fibers all in one direction to get it ready to be spun on the wheel in to yarn. The last picture shows some of the yarn that we're spinning on our spinning wheels.

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