FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions . . .
 

Alpaca fiber feels luxurious — a cross between cashmere and silk.  It also possesses superior wicking action compared to other natural fibers to keep you dry and cozy!

Alpaca fiber is . . .

  • naturally hypoallergenic (no lanolin).
  • not itchy like sheep wool and five times warmer.
  • wear resistant and does not pill.
  • more durable than wool.
  • wrinkle resistant and does not cling!

What are male and female alpacas called?
A breeding male is called a ‘Macho’ or ‘sire’ and a non-breeding (castrated) male is called a ‘gelding’.  A female alpaca is called a ‘Hembra’ or ‘dam’. A baby alpaca is called a ‘Cria’ (cree-ah).

Are there different kinds of alpacas?
There are two types of alpacas, the Huacaya (wha-kye-ah) and the Suri (sir-ee). The Huacaya is the most common alpaca breed, and has a crimped or wavy fleece. The Suri has straight lustrous fine fiber. In full fleece the Huacaya has a full and fluffy appearance – much like a teddy bear, while the Suri is elegantly draped in long wavy locks.

How long is an alpaca dam pregnant?
Approximately 11.5 months, the same as a horse. They only have one baby at a time.

How long do alpacas live?
Alpacas have a life span of 20-25 years.

How big does an alpaca get?
The average weight of an alpaca is 100-200 pounds. Baby alpacas (Cria) generally weigh between 14-20 pounds at birth.

How often do you shear alpacas?
Alpacas are shorn once a year, usually in late spring. A professional shearer can be hired if needed. The preferred method of shearing is laying the alpaca on a table, doing one side and then the other. The weight of the fleece varies from 3 to 10 pounds.

What do you do with the fleece?
Fiber from alpacas is one of the most sought after natural fibers, used by the textile manufacturing and fashion designer industry. Once the fiber is processed it can be woven, spun or felted to create exquisite items such as sweaters, socks, duvets, blankets, and shawls.

Do alpacas spit at people?
Typically an alpaca will not spit at a person unless it is very fearful or if the person gets caught in the cross-fire! Spitting is one of the few defense mechanisms an alpaca has. Spit material is basically regurgitated or recently chewed grass and it brushes off when dry. It does have an odor, and it’s best to avoid it.

Have a question? Please feel free to contact us!