Shearing and Fleece preparations

Alpaca Fibre Presentation Guidelines Prepared by British Alpaca Fibre co-operative

1. Prior to Shearing Keep alpacas on clean pasture. Prepare a clean, well-lit area with a wooden platform, rubber mat or a tarpaulin. Manually extract any serious contamination from the fleece. A blower can be very helpful Get the alpacas sorted and penned and dry so as not to waste shearing time.
2. During Shearing You will need (at least):
#Someone to present and hold the animal
#The shearer
#A sorter of the fleece who will bag it (separating the "firsts" and the seconds" into separate bags)
#A keeper of the records and assistant on all other tasks.
Start with the light coloured animals and work through to the dark colours. Sweep the floor thoroughly between colours to prevent any colour contamination. Take a sample of the mid side of the saddle for analysis. On the sorting table clean out any further contamination, separate the saddle (firsts) from the remainder and bag separately.
Throw away:
#the Shearer’s second cuts and any heavily contaminated or damp fibre
# and fibre less than 2 ½ inches and over 5 inches

Place the fleece in a bag, preferably a clean paper feed bag, and fold it shut. (Do not use polypropylene as this contamination is impossible to remove) Label the sack CLEARLY: tag number, grading
3. After Shearing.
Store the bales/bags in a secure, dry and vermin free area. Consider suspending bags from beams and make sure to protect against moths by using dried lavender (not loose in the bag or it contaminates the fleece!) or a proprietary moth protector – please do not use mothballs.