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SHEARING & EQUIPMENT
Harvest Time on the Alpaca Ranch
In the world of alpacas, “harvest time” comes much earlierthan autumn. In fact, it usually occurs in the spring inconjunction with “Shearing Day”, when the annual fleecegrowth is shorn off the alpacas to prepare them for comfortas the hot summer weather approaches. Alpaca Academy Author: Lucy H. Farrar
FLEECE EVALUATION
Alpaca Fiber from the Textile Point of View
Once alpaca fleece is in the bag, what is it worth? The textile manufacturer could not care less whether the fleece available for sale came from a prize winning stud or the herd's ugly duckling. Understanding what qualities the buyer desires most is the key to getting maximum value from alpaca fiber production. Mike Safley
Methods for Measuring Microns 
Objective fiber testing can be a powerful marketing and genetic selection tool when used properly. Objective measurement is an assessment made without the influence of personal feelings or prejudice. Visual appraisal and fiber handling are fundamental aspects of fiber judging, but are very weak appraisal methods for accurately identifying average fiber diameter. Instrumentation can accomplish the measurement of fibers with accuracy in the tenths of a micron (one millionth of a meter). The difference between a sample averaging 20.5 microns and one at 22.5 microns is very small in physical terms, but it is critical in terms of commercial use and pricing structure. Angus McColl. Yocom-McColl Testing Laboratories, Inc.
Fiber Testing Terminology
Fiber diameter is measured in microns. One micron is equal to 1/1,000,000th of a meter or 1/25,400th of one inch. Mean Fiber Diameter (MFD) is in common use internationally. MFD, Standard Deviation (SD) and Coefficient of Variation (CV) all relate to the (approximate) normal distribution of the animal fiber diameters. SD characterizes dispersion of individual measurements around the mean. Mike Safley
Measuring Fibre Curvature: Key Issues
The capability of instruments such as SIROLAN-LASERSCAN (LASERSCAN) and OFDA100 to provide measurements of fibre curvature has resulted in increased interest, within Australia among wool producers and exporters, and among overseas top-makers and spinners.  However, the metrology of fibre curvature measurement by these instruments is poorly understood.  Standardized conditions for preparation, and measurement procedures that stabilize the curvature of the wool fibres prior to measurement by either instrument, are yet to be defined. V.E. Fish
Crimp Versus Crinkle
Crinkle is the term that was first applied to alpacas by Cameron Holt in the early 1990s. It is not a standard textile term, and Cameron used it to describe alpaca fleece at a time when it did not exhibit staple crimp. The term originated in a cashmere preparation class in 1980 conducted by Cameron. While discussing the structure of cashmere fleece, a student said that the "crimp" in the individual fibers were "like a crinkle". Crinkle is used as an informal slang term to describe cashmere goat fleece which does not organize itself into staples. Mike Safley
The Case for Crimp
There are two ways that Huacaya breeders think about crimp in the United States. One group believes that crimp is not an important trait. The other camp says crimp is highly desirable. The show rings in all countries value crimp and many breeders around the world select for crimp. Is it important, or not? Mike Safley
What Makes a Champion?
I want to talk about “the fleece on the alpaca”, and should like to start asking, which are those important characteristics in the fleece?, and are those characteristics all equal in economical and technical terms? Juliar Sumar

 

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