The animals at Silverstream Alpaca Stud are mainly white and light fawn although recently we have
set about establishing a herd of grey and rose grey huacayas.
A solid white fleece is a more commercially desirable colour as it can be dyed to a broader range of colours. It is more often a denser and finer fibre than coloured fleece.
The qualities of a great fleece can be categorized as:
- Fineness – a lower micron means better handle or softness
- Density of the fleece – a dense fleece produces more shear weight and therefore offers a better financial return
- Consistency or uniformity of the fleece – known as the ‘standard deviation (SD)’
- Lack of guard hair (guard hair is a coarse fiber that reduces the value of the fleece)
- Well defined crimp – must show consistency throughout the fiber length and throughout the fleece
- Silky sheen – an indicator of softness in handling
- Cutting weight – this can be improved by staple growth, density and consistency
Silverstream’s aim is to consistently produce a fleece with a shear weight of not less than 5kg and a micron count below 21 at 3 years of age.