FAQ

See below for frequently asked questions….

1)  What is the meaning of Grade on your label?

All of our yarns are given a “Grade”, this process ensures that each yarn meets our quality standards.  The process is called sorting and is done manually by examining a 4 inch by 4 inch "draw" of a fleece.  The process can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours per animal fleece.  Just like human hair alpacas and other animals have either course or fine fiber.  We examine each 4 inch square to determine the micron count of that sample and place it in a bin.  Each bin is created according to the table below. Each yarn you purchase from us are held to this same standard.  To add a little variety we also purchase fleece from other ranches and grade their fleeces as well.  In addition to grading the fleece we also sort according to length.  Therefore, the letter represents the length of the fiber, so "L" is 2 to 3 inches and over 3 inches this is represented by the “R”.

GRADE

MICRON

NAME

Grade #1

>20 microns

Ultra Fine

Grade #2

20.0 – 22.9

Super Fine

Grade #3

23.0 – 25.9

Fine

 

2) I don't see Dye Lots on your labels, where are they?

All of our dyed yarns are dyed on the ranch in large kettles, therefore no dye lots, this gives our yarns a variation in color that shows beautifully in any garment.  However we don't want stripes, so when you purchase from us we will open up the skeins to see if the colors coordinate well.  When in doubt we recommend alternating skeins, this will even out any possible differences in the yarns and avoid pooling or abrupt transitions in color.  For projects knit flat we suggest working 2 to 3 rows from one ball and then 2 to 3 rows from another, carrying the yarn loosely up the side.  For a project knit in the round, you can knit one round from one ball and then the other, again carrying the yarn up the back of the work.   

3) Do natural colors have variations in them? 

The short answer is yes.  We recommend doing the same thing for skeins knit in color, see question 2.

4) How do I care for Alpaca fiber? 

Any garment made in Alpaca should be treated the same as a wool garment.  Hand wash in cool water with mild soap.  Avoid hot water, agitation or harsh detergents.  Spin your project out or roll it in a town and reshape and lay flat to dry.   In reality, alpaca should not be washed frequently, as it is resistant to a lot of factors that normally necessitate washing.  Anything that is spilled on a garment can be shaken off or lightly patted off, odors can be removed simply by hanging the garment it an open air area, the only time it needs to be washed is when something is ground into the garment.

5) What makes Alpaca yarn so great? 

A lot of things!  To name a few, it is hypoallergenic, highly water resistant, odor resistant, fire retardant, does not contain lanolin, warmer than wool and our Grade 1 is as soft as cashmere at a lower cost!  In addition it is an extremely durable fiber for its diameter which is why so many families hand down items made in alpaca for generations!

6) I hear Alpaca garments can grow is that true? 

Alpaca does drape, use this to your advantage!  Make items like shawls, scarves, and wraps that drape compliments! 

But does this mean that I can’t have a cuddly alpaca sweater?  NO!  It doesn’t!  The pattern is just as important as the fiber, if you knit a sweater in let’s say stockinette stitch, the stitch will not hold the garment design in place so it can grow.  If you knit a complicated pattern then the pattern works with the fiber and will help hold the sweater to shape!  If you are concerned still, adding just a little wool helps!  We have several yarns that include Cormo and Merino just for that purpose!

7) Does Alpaca pill? 

Pilling (little balls of fiber that appear on knitted garments) comes from friction. The rubbing of fibers against each other causes static, and static causes the fibers to attach to each other, forming little balls. The more friction, the more little balls are formed. Generally, the tighter a yarn is spun, the less likely it is to pill.  A yarn with a tight twist is best for work sweaters, or any project that will get lots of heavy wear. Look closely at the yarn you plan on purchasing. Most garments made from "Natural" fibers will pill over time, in addition, the finer the fiber, the more likely it will pill.  So if you see a lot of little fuzzy fibers sticking out of the main strand, it's likely your yarn will pill.  Light pilling can be removed by several means, the internet will give you a whole bunch of ideas!

8) What is your shipping policy? 

We ship Monday through Friday using USPS.  Shipping costs are based on weight of the product.