When the fleece gets shorn off the animals, I sort them by color, fineness, staple length and place them in plastic bags until they get to be processed. Some of my alpacas' fiber I keep separated to be processed by hand.
First I place them on my skirting table, shake out most of the dust, VM, and second cuts, and skirt off the hairy parts I don't want in my fiber.
Then I wash it using cold or luke warm water and just a little bit of soap that helps to get rid of the dirt. Because alpaca doesn't have lanolin, we do not need to use strong chemicals to get the fiber clean, so it makes it very earth friendly. Some people spin the fiber right off the animal. :)
This is one of my girl's, Mira's fiber after it's been washed.
|Washed alpaca fiber|
Alpaca fiber has it's own brightness which does not fade even after it's dyed.
|Beige alpaca fiber has a nice brightness that will not fade even after it's dyed|
Here you can see her fiber and the yarn out of her fiber. Notice the brightness. Alpaca yarn is buttery soft, and is a treat next to your skin. :)
|Soft, bright alpaca yarn and fiber|