Section 1.8: Section Summary

Alpaca are renowned for producing the world’s most sustainable luxury fiber. Alpaca Fiber can be eco-friendly, softer than cashmere, and warm as polar bear fleece.

Experience the Alpaca Lifestyle while producing luxury products - through Alpaca Fiber Farming
This online resource will teach you how.

Section Summary

Hopefully, the information presented above has helped clarify how valuable alpaca fiber is and will continue to be in the marketplace. A choice to wear cotton contributes to the herbicide and pesticide use that adversely impacts our earth every hour of every day. A choice to wear nylon or most other synthetics contributes to the ongoing use and depletion of petroleum-based products. A choice to wear mink, fox, sable, baby seal, beaver, and even leather, contributes to the slaughter of these animals for their hides and pelts. Further, these hides and pelts require the use of petroleum products during the tanning process. A choice to wear wool also has environmental impact by virtue of the fact that wool requires repeated scouring with harsh detergents to prepare it for processing. In sharp contrast, alpacas are shorn once a year, after which their lanolin-free fleeces can be easily processed with minimal washing, and the alpacas themselves go on their merry way grazing and working on growing the next season’s fleece. If we are to live lightly on the earth, if we are to think globally and act locally, then we can look to alpaca fiber, as it satisfies all the criteria for a “Green Movement.”

More than 200,000 alpacas are on the ground in America, as of 2018. While Peru is often cited as having more than 90% of the world’s alpacas, there is little arable land left in the Andes for future growth. The size of Peru’s alpaca herds will likely remain relatively constant over the next 50 years. America’s potential for growth in the alpaca industry, on the other hand, is virtually unlimited. We can create the largest herds of high quality alpacas right here in America. The North American herd already has the most diversity in terms of rich, naturally colored alpacas. North American alpaca needs no dyes to provide consumers with a wide array of natural, eco-friendly color choices.

In the Pages that follow, we will investigate alpaca fiber in greater depth, examining its internal structure and the qualities that make it unique. We will discuss quantifiable measurements, of which breeders must be intimately aware, for these measures are inextricably related to our ability to manage our herds effectively. We will help breeders define and understand the qualities for which they should be breeding and help breeders learn to accurately judge the quality in their own barns, paddocks, and pastures, without the need of an opinion from a show judge. We breeders must develop the ability to assess our own product and we must learn how best to generate income from that product. The Pages that follow will examine how breeders can make the best choices to maximize income and will provide guidance on how to create sales and marketing channels, and how to attract an ever-growing customer-base to create a thriving industry of “Alpaca Fiber Farming.“

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