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National Alpaca Days coming up during the last weekend in Sept

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-09-19 16:00:00 – US

The last weekend in September, alpaca farms all across the United States and Canada will open their gates for visitors to experience alpacas, alpaca products, live demonstrations, and much more. Little World Alpacas will be opening their farm for National Alpaca Farm Days Open House on September 26-27 2015, an unique opportunity to meet some the incredible animals.

Alpaca breeders across the country invite the public to come to their farm or ranch Sept. 26 and Sept. 27 to meet alpacas and learn more about these inquisitive, unique animals, the luxury fiber they produce, and why the alpaca business is perfect for environmentally conscious individuals.

Spinning Demonstrations will be ongoing throughout the day.

The ranch store will be open with a variety of alpaca products for sale including alpaca fiber, yarn, socks, bird nesting balls, soaps and other items.

Sweet Alpacas is a Vacaville Alpaca Ranch owned by Bruce and Joan Nelson, and Joan’s mother Kathryn Hamilton. They invite families to join them, and their alpacas, for all the activities free of charge.

While Menagerie Hill Ranch, located at 4071 Norman Ct. in Vacaville, will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Alpaca fleece is stronger, lighter, warmer, and more resilient. Finer grades of alpaca fleece (known commercially as "Baby Alpaca") are believed to be hypo-allergenic, meaning it does not irritate your skin as sheep’s wool sometimes does. Unlike sheep’s wool, alpaca fleece contains no lanolin and is therefore ready to spin after only nominal cleaning. Prized for its unique silky feel and superb "handle," alpaca fleece is highly sought-after by both cottage-industry artists (hand spinners, knitters, weavers, etc.) as well as the commercial fashion industry.

Alpaca fleece has a great variety of natural colors, making it very much in vogue: 16 official colors (white; beige; and shades of fawn, brown, black, and grey) with many other subtle shades and hues. White, light fawn, and light grey can be readily dyed, thus offering a rainbow of colors for the fiber artist. Alpaca fleece can also be combined with other fine fibers such as merino wool, cashmere, mohair, silk, and angora to attain incredibly interesting blends.

The United States and Canadian breeders do not produce alpaca for meat, but rather for their fine fleece.

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