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Our Commitment to quality and the environment

Valued for its beauty and warm silky softness, alpaca fibre comes in a unique range of natural colours, is environmentally friendly, sustainable and hypoallergenic. At Australian Alpaca Connection we are dedicated to developing unique collections of clothing, accessories, homewares and yarns to showcase the finest qualities of alpaca fleece. The garments are developed and manufactured with a high-quality standard. Therefore, we ensure that where ever is possible only the best fibres between <19 and 25.5 microns in diameter are used. Further, we strive towards responsible use and procurement of resources in the production and distribution of our products. Australian Alpaca Connection continue effort to seek and work with suppliers that operate ethically and put an emphasis on minimising their impact on the environment.

Alpaca fleece: From raw fibre to premium clothing

Alpacas are usually shorn once a year between November and April. The yield per animal is very variable, but a general average is about  2.3kg. Alpaca fleece has a range of up to 22 colours, from white to black through greys, fawns and browns. The fibre can be blended into an infinite array of natural colours. Therefore, environmental issues relating to industrial dying processes are minimised. After the shearing, this noble fibre initiates its 12- to 18-month journey to become a garment, traveling thousands of kilometres to find specialised hands.

Natural Colours of alpaca fleece

After classing, the transformation process starts: The alpaca fleece is being washed, and later carded and spun into yarn. ​Compared to otheranimal fibres, alpaca fibre has a lack of grease or lanolin which means that much less energy and chemicals are involved to treat the water used for its washing process. Alpaca fibres are extraordinarily though and strong, even in the finest qualities, thus making it ideal for industrial processing. It is also possible to process alpaca on the woollen or worsted systems, so that it can be used to produce a range of clothes from coarse tweeds to fine gabardine. Alpaca fibre does not easily break, fray, stain or accumulate charges of static electricity. It provides a relatively high yield of fibre after processing – roughly two times more compared with sheep wool. 

Production processes of the alpaca fibre

At AAFL (Australian Alpaca Fleece Ltd.) the fibre is going through a classing process, where it is categorised manually by expert hands according to its fineness and sorted into qualities: Royal Alpaca (less than 19 microns), Baby Alpaca (22.5 microns), Super Fine Alpaca (15.5 microns), Huarizo (29 microns), Coarse (32 microns) and Mixed Pieces (short fibres generally coarser than 32 microns). The names of these qualities do not necessarily reflect the age of the animals or other phenotypic characteristic. The term ‘baby alpaca’, for instance, is applied to products where the average fibre diameter is 22.5 microns. This does not mean that it comes from newborn, it just refers to its fineness and could easily come from an adult. Each quality is employed to create different products such as clothes, scarves or blankets.

Alpaca fleece classing at AAFL

Finally, the spun yarn can be knitted or woven to become a textile wonder and then return to AAFL as an Australian Alpaca Connection product.