Alpaca Shawls are one of the new statements in the fashion world. An accessory that is made from all natural renewable materials is also guaranteed to gain in popularity in the coming years. An Alpaca Shawl can keep your neck warm while also make you look great in the process. Check out the shawls that we have for sale below.
Super Soft Baby Alpaca Wool Reversible Shawl
This luxurious reversible Alpaca shawl is sure to make you look like a movie star. It is made from 100% baby Alpaca fiber to ensure that they are as soft as possible. The silky smooth texture is made to last while ensuring that you are no bothering by itchiness while you wear it.
They are available in a few amazing colors and are stocked at Amazon so that you don’t have to wait for them to be imported. This particular piece measures at inches wide and 90 inches long.
This Alpaca Shawl is hand knitted to be 31 inches wide and 65 inches long without counting the fringes. They are designed to provide you with softness, luster, lightness, and durability at a great price. This is the perfect shawl if you are looking to splurge and spoil yourself for a change.
More About Alpacas
Alpacas produce some of the softest fiber on the planet. The fiber they produce is softer than cashmere, yet it is warmer than wool. They have been raised for their fiber and meat in South America for thousands of years and The United States is just starting to catch on.
These animals are pack animals, meaning they are social and need to be kept with other Alpaca to stay happy. Traditionally, all of the females and castrated males would be kept in a large herd while the breeding males are kept in a different area out of site of the females. They are only brought in when they are needed to breed with another female.
Most of the fiber and product in The United States now is imported from Peru where the fiber is produced in massive quantities. We have no reached this level yet in the states because Alpaca only reproduce one baby a year, making it very difficult to scale a farm quickly.
The low supply and high demand brings extremely high prices to the market. Even the raw fiber is sold for a high premium, which makes the price of the finished product that much higher.
How Alpaca Clothing is Made
As you may or may not know, a super soft Alpaca shawl does not fall off the animal every day for the breeder to go collect. It is a tedious process to get from the hair on an Alpacas back to the product that you see sold in stores.
The first step in this process is to sheer the Alpaca once a year to collect all of the fiber. The fiber collected from different parts of the animal is rated differently, the back of the animal being the mail piece. A single Alpaca will produce $500 or more in fiber a year to be sold or used to produce goods.
Most breeders sell the fiber there and move on with their life, but other farms do produce their own goods. The next step for those farms, or the production mills, is to “skirt” the fiber to remove all debris or unwanted fiber. They lay it out on a table and remove and vegetable matter and check for quality.
Wash and dry
Once the fiber is clean and all close to the same length, they will gently wash and dry it. They must do this in a very precise manner so that they don’t felt the fiber and ruin the product. Once it is clean, they will let it dry on drying racks until all moisture is removed.
The next step is to “pick” the fiber so that it is not clumped together when they attempt to spin it. This is done either by hand or with a picking machine if large quantities. This process will prepare the fiber for the next step.
Before the fiber can be turned into a nice Alpaca Shawl it needs to be carded and then spun. Carding is the name of the process where the fiber is stretched and separated so that it is ready to be spun. The end result is a roll of material that can be fed into the spinner and turned into yarn
This is the last step in the process of turning the fiber into an end product. The spinner will take the carded fiber and feed it slowly into the spinning wheel that turns the product into yarn. That yarn is then knitted into the end products that you see above.
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