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I recently got a 5 oz. batch of locally raised and processed alpaca to use for a demonstration I was doing for an Artisan Fair... after that I got two batts of alpaca/silk blend from a farm in Connecticut.

Here is the locally processed alpaca

And here is one of the batts...

 

Spinning these two fiber was totally different.  The batts spun up fairly easily, and made nice looking yarn. 

The local alpaca, was much more difficult to spin, and my work was not nearly as good.

Of course, I was spinning under pressure - 1) in public, 2) stopping and starting as observers came by and 3) answering lots of questions in addition to spinning.  It is a bit over spun and a bit underplied, but here it is.

 

My point, is that the way a fiber is prepared sure makes a difference in the quality of yarn you can spin with the same fiber.  Of course, these are being washed now and once that process is complete, the results may look entirely different.

What is your opinion of different methods of fiber preparation?

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Replies to This Discussion

It is my understanding that the way the fiber is prepared can make all the difference in how it spins.

I agree with Cheryl, and all stages of fiber preparation, starting with the animal's work growing the fleece and including the shearing!

Ditto on the beginning with the animal.

I agree.  The batts I got on the local alpaca are still full of VM.  I'm having to re-card them both to clean them up some and to make smaller packages.  I haven't tried spinning with it yet, but I do believe the prep is far inferior to the prep on the roving I got from the same place.

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