September 23 and 24, alpaca business owners throughout North America will celebrate the 17th annual National Alpaca Farm Days. Alpaca Owners Association, Inc. (AOA) invites individuals and families nationwide to visit participating member farms and ranches during this safe, fun-filled family event. Alpaca owners will welcome the public to meet their alpacas. Attendees will learn more about these inquisitive, unique animals, the luxury fiber they produce and why the alpaca business is perfect for environmentally conscious individuals.
Alpacas are primarily raised for their fleece in North America. As domesticated animals (alpacas do not live in the wild), it is up to their owners to keep them safe and healthy. A big part of doing so is annual sheering. A full fleeced alpaca in warmer months will suffer from heat stress which can be a life threatening medical condition.
This symbiotic relationship provides comfort and good health to the alpacas and a beautiful natural fiber to their caregivers.
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.
One facet of alpaca fleece that makes it so much in vogue is its great variety of natural colors; pure white, several shades of fawn and brown, several shades of gray and true black – some 17 official colors with many other subtle shades and hues. White, light fawn, and light gray can be readily dyed, thus offering a rainbow of colors for the fleece artist. Alpaca fleece can also be readily combined with other fine fibers like merino wool, cashmere, mohair, silk, and angora to attain incredibly interesting blends.
For a complete list of participating farms and ranches, visit www.AlpacaFarmDays.com.