Each year we shear our alpacas and harvest their fiber to make into roving for our customers. Our animals have been carefully chosen for their fiber quality, color and great personalities. As the summer heats up, it is important to remove the fiber so each alpaca can stay cool and comfortable. [caption id="attachment_3292" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Alpacas waiting to be shorn[/caption] During shearing we separate the fiber into 3 bags for each animal. The blanket is the "1st" fiber, the neck and belly are "2nd's" and the legs are "3rds" On our ranch, we process 1st and 2nds while using 3rds for felting and other craft projects. This means the softest, cleanest fibers are used to produce our rovings. The first step on the way to roving is called sorting where we inspect the each fleece, clean out debris and properly classify the fiber with each animal. We then skirt the fiber on a skirting rack by laying each fiber on the rack and allowing hay and vegetation to fall through the rack. We again inspect the fibers and bag and tag each skirted fiber based on the quality grade and name of the animal it came from.
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