Alpaca Blog: From alpaca farming to fiber arts to alpaca sweaters, Alpaca Treasure has you covered
This alpaca blog is dedicated to all things alpaca! My family and I have run an alpaca farm called Sirius Alpacas in northeast Ohio since 2004, and we import alpaca clothing and Peruvian and Bolivian accessories from South America. We are passionate about alpacas and the luxurious fleece they produce. Plus, who doesn’t love feeling and looking great in comfort and style? The more we work with alpacas and immerse ourselves in Andean style and culture, we find ourselves wanting to share our farm knowledge as well as the fashions and accessories of the Andean region. Alpaca Treasure shares everything from animal husbandry tips to recipes to fashion and culture posts. Here is where to learn about these animals, fiber arts, textile fashion and the products and accessories available at Sirius Alpacas.
How you can discover alpacas – the animals, their fleece, fiber projects and the fashions made from their fiber:
- Subscribe to Alpaca Treasure (FREE! Full of great stories about farming, working with fleece, costs, how-to projects, recipes and tales of worry.)
- “Like” us on Facebook
- Follow us on Twitter
- Visit Sirius Alpacas for the latest news in the best alpaca clothing available online
Our winters are harsh (our geographic area is known as the “snow belt!”), but one way we help take the sting out of the icy wind to stay warm is with alpaca socks, sweaters, hats, mittens and blankets. Geauga County has dozens of alpaca farms raising these fleecy animals native to South America. Although alpacas originate from the Andes Mountains in Peru, Chili and Bolivia, they were imported into the United States in the mid-1980s and have been thriving in Ohio ever since. Alpacas are all about warmth. Their silky, soft fleece is comparable to cashmere. And, their insulating fiber is incredibly warm, yet breathable. Because alpacas do not secrete lanolin, the oily substance in sheep’s fleece, allergic reactions are virtually nonexistent.
Along with raising alpacas, many local farmers shear, breed and board animals as well as use their fleeces for spinning into yarn and for felting and weaving projects. A few domestic fiber co-ops are buying fiber from individual farms and turning prime fleece into everything from luxury sweaters and blankets and socks. High-tech performance manufacturers for active and extreme-weather enthusiasts are increasingly making use of alpaca fiber for its wicking properties and light weight. Neck and leg fiber, referred to as “seconds” and “thirds,” is not as soft as prime fleece, and is harvested for use in accessories, rugs and heavy-duty totes.
There are two types of alpacas: huacaya and suri. Huacayas have fluffy, crimpy fleece while suri fiber hangs in spiral-like dreadlocks. Both varieties have similar properties regarding softness and warmth, and require the same food and environment.
Sirius Alpacas raises huacayas. We’ve had as many as 22 animals on our farm; today we have about a dozen. We’ve been breeding a few of our females this summer, though, and hope to have a few crias to share with you next summer. You’ll can find out about the day-to-day workings of our farm in our blog posts.
Additionally, we work with designers who create sumptuous fashions from alpaca fleece. The majority of our sweaters, socks, hats and gloves are made in Peru, but some of our products are made here in the United States. In fact, many of our yarns are spun from our own animals that were born and raised on our farm.
Thanks for stopping by! We hope you enjoy reading about our animals as much as we enjoy raising them. Check out our photos and videos of knitting and felting projects in progress. Preview our latest products as they become available. Let us know what you think!
Lori Weber, co-owner of Sirius Alpacas, is the creator and writer of this alpaca blog. You may reach her at Lori@SiriusAlpacas.com.