WHY ALPACAS? Alpacas produce one of the softest and most luxurious natural fibers in the world – so soft and rare it was once reserved for royalty. Frequently compared to cashmere, the unique qualities of alpaca place it in a class of its own. Warmer and stronger than wool, alpaca fiber is hollow, making it very light with remarkable insulating and wicking qualities. Alpaca products are a luxurious pleasure to both the eye and the touch.
A decision to diversify and utilize our acreage better led us to alpacas and in1994 we purchased our first alpacas. In 1995, we sheared our Alpacas; people asked who sheared them, and thus began a 24 year career in shearing Alpacas. We sheared extensively in those first 20 years, bringing our shearing service to many farms across BC, Alberta, and SK. The owner kept their fiber, we just sheared it off for them. We have sheared over 12,000 Alpacas to date and have just retired the service and sold our equipment.
After shearing all the fibre has to be sorted and cleaned. There are 6 different grades of fibre, from baby alpaca to coarser fibre, grade 1 being the finest, and 6 being the coarsest.. As well, alpacas also comes in 22 different recognized natural colours, as well as combination colours. Each grade is used for a different use, e.g. grade 1-3 are used in fine yarns to be made into garment, anything close to the skin. It is extremely soft and silky. Grades 4-5 are used for socks, as grade 1-3 are too soft, for use in socks. Grade 6 is used in horse blankets, batting etc.
We have met many people, and must say it’s been such a rewarding experience. We continue to do markets selling the beautiful and warm alpaca products. We are so pleased to be working with the County on premiering our products as one of the many small businesses within our county borders and beyond.
Through the years, we have utilized our fibre, by first shearing, sorting and cleaning, then sending grades 1-3 to a mill to be processed into yarns. There are 3 mills that we have used here in Alberta. Of course, we sell the yarn, as well as knit and produce many handcrafted articles, such as mitts, toques, hats, scarves, shawls etc. I also hand dye a lot of yarn for selling and knitting. Grades 4-5 is sent away for socks, and grade 6 for duvets etc.
Our socks, come from a mill that processes the alpaca fibre for the breeders. The socks are highly sought after. So warm, soft and durable. We carry several different weights of the socks to fill different needs, eg, heavy warm socks for working outside in the cold, medium weights for part time cold and indoor wear, lighter dress socks. Give your feet the Royal Treatment. Check out our socks, in many styles, colours and sizes. The hand knit articles vary in colour, style and most often one of a kind. Prices are very reasonable, and we love offering them to you for your enjoyment.
We also have credit card/debit options from the farm or at a market; and by phone/internet order, we have the credit card option.
We hope to be able to serve you in the near future.
Visit us also on Facebook at Battle River Alpacas for coming events and features!