The Original
Online Alpaca Marketplace
Alpaca Forum at AlpacaNation
Alpaca Forum at AlpacaNation
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Alpaca Discussion Forums
 1. Alpacas 101: Getting Started
 Raw Fiber
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

dannylink

41 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2011 :  7:05:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Is there a market for raw fiber? I have 4 boys which I plan to sheer in May and I do not know what to do with the fiber. Just got my guys in June after they had already been sheered for the year so have not had to deal with that issue as of yet. I have two white, one black and one sorrel and I really enjoy spending time with them each day. Would like to add a gray boy sometime in future. It would have to be tame and broken to lead. Love to watch people slow down on our country road to catch a glance of them.

anitajacobson

243 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2011 :  12:10:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit anitajacobson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
There absolutely is a market for raw fiber. Advertise it, because I am sure there are some homespinners that would love to have raw alpaca fiber. I sell alot of raw fiber each year, my yarn sells better, but I never have left over fleece unless it is by choice and I am saving it to spin myself.

Anita Jacobson
Sierra Nevada Ranch
Durham, California
www.sierranevadaranch.com
Go to Top of Page

Dawn

284 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2011 :  07:15:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit Dawn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If you haven't already made arrangements with a shearer now is the time to do that. Most alpaca shearers get very busy and schedule clients way in advance of shearing season.

Dawn

Dawn Dolpp
Mada Vemi Alpacas
Axton, VA
www.MadaVemiAlpacas.com
434-770-1972
Go to Top of Page

Judith

3997 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2011 :  08:09:54 AM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
You might like to read the article I wrote for Alpacas Magazine on marketing fleece. It is available online at the Alpaca Registry's "Alpaca Academy" at: http://www.alpacaacademy.com/resources/dyn/files/113196/_fn/Focus+On+Fleece.pdf

Judith Korff
AlpacaNation Forum Co-Moderator
LadySong Farm Bolivian Suri Alpacas
Randolph, NY 14772
Cell: (716) 499-0383
www.alpacanation.com/ladysong.asp
Go to Top of Page

nyala

3317 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2011 :  09:33:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit nyala's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi,

If there is a local spinning guild in your area let them know you will have the fleeces available. I can sell it here (area is fairly depressed economically) for around $25-$35 a pound. I don't sell it raw as I prefer to invest a bit in processing it to bring a greater return.

Are you going to shear them yourself?

Ann

D. Andrew Merriwether, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Biology, Binghamton University
and
Ann and Andy Merriwether
Nyala Farm Alpacas,Vestal, NY
www.alpacanation.com/nyalafarm.asp
Go to Top of Page

dannylink

41 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2011 :  10:30:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All no Ann, I would not dare endanger my boys by trying to sheer them myself. Have not really thought about lining up someone to do this but now thanks to Dawn's advice will begin to start making arrangements. This is why this forem is so valuable to new alpaca owners such as myself. Will call the farms I purchased my boys from and see who does their sheering. Sometime in May is the best time to sheer - am I correct on that? Anita, you suggest advertising it. Would this be local advertisements such as news paper, craigslist, etc.?

I do not plan on getting into the business of processing fiber or selling yarn. My boys are simply pets and I did not get them for any other reason but I would like something to do with the fiber. With only 4 to sheer, not really sure of how much fiber I would get off of them anyway. Only concern with fiber has been to ensure it is thick enough to keep them warm this winter.
Go to Top of Page

Dawn

284 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2011 :  4:18:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit Dawn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
When to shear your animals will depend on where you're located. I'm on the VA/NC boarder and we shear around mid April. It will also greatly depend on when your shearers can do it.

Calling the farms you got them from would be a great idea. You might want to see if you're able to bring your animals to another farm to shear them there if they already have a shear date scheduled. Sometimes you get a price break if there's more animals so it's worth the trouble.

Dawn

Dawn Dolpp
Mada Vemi Alpacas
Axton, VA
www.MadaVemiAlpacas.com
434-770-1972
Go to Top of Page

nyala

3317 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2011 :  4:25:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit nyala's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi,

I was going to try and talk you out of it if you were going to try and shear them yourself. The most important thing on that is safety the next thing is the fleeces would probably not be in such great shape.

Ann

D. Andrew Merriwether, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Biology, Binghamton University
and
Ann and Andy Merriwether
Nyala Farm Alpacas,Vestal, NY
www.alpacanation.com/nyalafarm.asp
Go to Top of Page

nyala

3317 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2011 :  4:38:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit nyala's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi,

I was going to try and talk you out of it if you were going to try and shear them yourself. The most important thing on that is safety the next thing is the fleeces would probably not be in such great shape.

Ann

D. Andrew Merriwether, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Biology, Binghamton University
and
Ann and Andy Merriwether
Nyala Farm Alpacas,Vestal, NY
www.alpacanation.com/nyalafarm.asp
Go to Top of Page

highpeaksalpacas

1291 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2011 :  8:34:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit highpeaksalpacas's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I sell all of my raw fiber every year... I stumbled upon a buyer my first year and she has bought from me every year since... some i keep now because i have friends who spin...and I dream of doing something with it myself one day...

Debbie Potter
High Peaks Alpacas
Wilmington, NY
www.alpacanation.com/highpeaks.asp

Go to Top of Page

Marceels1968

139 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2011 :  3:01:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There is a market for raw fiber, if you know where to find the buyers. I'm sure Ann has worked diligently to find the customers who are paying her $25-$35 lb for her fiber. However, there are MANY breeders who have their fiber stored in garages, basements, attics, etc. because they've never taken the time or put forth the effort to find buyers.

It is also difficult to determine the price your fiber is worth without knowing what grade it is. Lower grade (lower micron) fleece is worth more than higher grade (higher micron).

There is a much larger market for fiber that is processed into yarn. The profit potential is greater as well.

As with any type of sales; it takes work (and lots of it).

Marcee L. Stephenson
Certified SortedTM Fiber Sorting Apprentice
Criation Station Alpaca Farm
13790 Quarry Rd
Oberlin, OH 44074
440-774-2451
Marceels@aol.com
Go to Top of Page

nyala

3317 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2011 :  4:21:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit nyala's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi,

It is a lot of work to find a local market for your fiber. I love fiber stuff so it was not a terrible chore for me to join local spinning guilds and participate in local fiber events. Once folks know you have fiber then you get quite a bit of repeat customers and build up a nice client base.


I actually don't sell much raw fleece anymore because even selling it at $35 a pound you lose money. However if I dye it and then have it carded and turned into roving I actually can break even or make a tiny bit on it. It just depends what you pay for processing. I pay around 10 a pound finished weight for roving (including washing). If I pay much more than that, again I lose money. I don't know how folks pay $18 or more a pound for roving and make money?

Ann


D. Andrew Merriwether, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Biology, Binghamton University
and
Ann and Andy Merriwether
Nyala Farm Alpacas,Vestal, NY
www.alpacanation.com/nyalafarm.asp
Go to Top of Page

anitajacobson

243 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2011 :  11:19:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit anitajacobson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The fleece I sell raw, I usually sell by the ounce (an ounce of it is a good size), I usually put up a flier at local feed stores, on Craigslist and word of mouth (usually the best source). There are a few local spinning guilds, yarn shops and art studios around that I send fliers out too as well.

When I have it processed into yarn, the finished product usually cost me roughly $5 a skein (including shipping), I can easily double that price to help pay for the feed bills and other expenses throughout the year.

When I have people come out to pick out their desired fleeces, I usually give them a price per ounce and leave them with a skirting table, the bags of fleece and a scale and they have a great time picking out their own fleeces and most come back year after year just to go through the fleeces. One year a lady came back a few weeks later to give me a blanket she made from my animals because she appreciated the experience she had here

Alot of people think that the age of "home spinners" is gone, once you start talking about it and looking around there is a large amount of people still spinning at home, and who are looking for raw fleeces.

If I have a large amount of seconds left by the time fall hits (I don't like to store fiber throught the winter) I donate alot of it to a local Montessori school that teaches the children to pick and card for class projects, which usually stimulates some interest in pet quality/fiber boys, which I usually end up with a few each year so it's been a great lead too.

Good Luck with selling your fiber, I am glad to hear you are wanting to sell it, instead of throwing it out.

Anita Jacobson
Sierra Nevada Ranch
Durham, California
www.sierranevadaranch.com
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
Jump To:
Alpaca Forum at AlpacaNation © 2000 - 2009 AlpacaNation LLC Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000

WELCOME TO ALPACANATION

Our family has 8,519 breeders, with more joining every day.

Join Now!