A Division of
So How Does the Hair off
a Llama's Back Turn into a Beautiful Handmade Scarf Like This One?
Once the Alpaca
fibers/fleece is off the llama's back it is cleaned using a tool called a
teasing tool. It is much like a brush but with very sharp pointy ends.
First shake out any dirt. Then pick out any thing else that doesn't belong
in the fiber like hay, or coarse hairs.
To use the teasing tool,
which is shown attached to the side of this drum carder, pull out about a
four inch section of alpaca fleece. One the fleece on one end and run it
to the other end of the brush. This removes dirt and debris. Continue this
Here is a close up of the
(See the brush there too.) Take the section of the fleece that you just
brushed and feed it into the drum carder. The fleece will be pulled onto
the big wheel when you turn the handle. Continue this until you have a
nice section of fleece called a bat. Pull the fleece apart from the wheel.
Once it is cleaned there are
several things that can be done with it. Just left alone like this as in
the photo it can be used for both
DRY NEEDLE FELTING PROJECTS
WET FELTING PROJECTS
Once it is clean the fibers
can also be spun into thread or yarn. This is a spinning wheel where you use
your foot to turn it and your hands to guide it onto the wheel.
Here's a close up of the
spinning wheel in action.
Once the thread or yarn is
made it can be sold like that in what we called skeins, or...
the yarn can be used for knitting to make
things like these beautiful alpaca scarves, or...
it can be woven into
fabric. From the fabric you can make things like clothing, rugs, towels, or just about