Hi all, I am new to Spin-Off and new to spinning. I raise alpacas and I would like to begin making some of my own batts. I would like any advise/direction you can give me on what the best hand carders are for alpaca fiber. For example, tpi carding cloth/size, etc. Not sure if it matters, but I raise suri alpacas. Any additional information is welcome! Thanks!
I love alpaca. I'm not as familiar with suri other than they are rarer and have the "Rastafarian" look.
I found one source here that says: "The fibre sells well raw (cleaned) or carded. Suri
can be hand carded easily because of the long smooth
nature of the fleece. The length of the staple is the most
important consideration when selecting a fleece for spinning.
Many show suris have wonderfully attractive fleeces
(two or three years growth) however, anything over
20 cm could be difficult to prepare, and the staple
may need to be cut in half."
Here's another source about fiber prep.
Reading these, it looks like you may not need to have special combs or cards. When I process my huacaya (purchased fleece) I wash it in Dawn or the like with a final rinse in hair conditioner to cut the static. Spinning oil (5 parts water to 1 part mineral oil and some nice smelling oil added...lavender...in a sprayer) lightly sprayed over it all will do the same thing. I use regular Clems carders. I'm gentle. I've combed (single and English), drum carded, and hand carded.
Since you're looking at long locks, you could do as suggested and flick then spin, not necessarily from the fold. Here's a video of a mill running suri. I'm a lover of YouTube. With a bit of critical thinking, you can find what you are looking for. I put in "spinning suri alpaca" and got quite a few hits. Change the search words to...say..."preparing suri alpaca fiber" and see what you get.
Thanks for the information! I'll check out YouTube and do some searches there for how best to card suri fiber.
Hi, when you find out, bring the info back here, OK?
My friend and mentor just sent me some suri, and advised me to use my mini combs to process it. I've got some very nice Valkyrie mini combs that I seem to use daily. They aren't as mini as some others, but they don't cause the weariness that full sized combs might cause. I tend to follow her suggestions and, as you can see, quote them as well.
Youtube is a wonderful resource for information, some accurate, other just amusing.
Old Town Treadles, once I purchase some hand carders and try them out, I'll be sure to let you know.