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Thursday, 31 August 2017

How Much Waste Does an Alpaca Produce?

No, I don't mean from the back end, I mean from its fleece.

Cadbury's Cria Fleece
I was recently preparing some cria alpaca by picking through the locks, separating them at the same time.  I put the waste on one side while I picked and teased.  This fleece is in pretty good order and really doesn't need carding, so I was just splaying out the cut end of each lock to spin from.  There was surprisingly little vegetable matter so it was quite an easy job.  After a while I noticed the waste pile was getting quite large - mainly second cuts and a bit of vm - so I decided to monitor it.

After spinning the locks and filling a bobbin, I plied it back on itself and, before washing, weighed it and the waste pile.  The whole lot came to 135g, with the yarn weighing 110g and the waste 25g.

Yarn and Waste
I was surprised there was only 25g of waste as it looked a lot more.  Anyway, I washed the yarn, dried it and then weighed it again - 95g.  That means that there was 15g of dust in this ball of alpaca.  I can't even imagine what that would look like.

Now nice and clean and ready for knitting.

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