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About Alpacas
Why Raise Alpacas
Alpaca Fleece and Fiber
Alpaca Care
Showing Alpacas

 

 

Huacaya Fleece Judging Criteria (AOBA show rules)

Fineness & handle
20 pts
Yield (annualized weight)
20 pts
Character-Crimp
10 pts
Lack of medullation
10 pts
Luster
10 pts
Uniformity of micron
8 pts
Uniformity of length
7 pts
Character-Density
5 pts
Uniformity of color
5 pts
Lack of impurities
5 pts
Total points: 100

Meet a Huacaya

When most people think of alpacas, they see in their minds eye the huacaya. Huacayas (pronounced wa-KAI-ya) have the fluffy teddy bear appeal that many associate with alpacas and are the more common of the two types. They comprise about 80% of the U.S. alpaca population. The Alpaca Registry (ARI) showed about 101,492 huacaya alpacas registered in the United States as of July 2009.

huacaya-full.jpg

These beautiful animals are characterized by their fluffy fleece. The fiber grows outward from the alpaca's body and is so thick and crimpy that it forms halo of fleece all around the animal giving them their "cuddly" appearance. The fiber is soft and strong and generally crimpy throughout. It looks a lot like Corriedale and Romney sheeps wool (without the lanolin). At the microscopic level, the scales on follicle of the hair of the huacaya fiber are irregular and slightly serrated (though still smoother than sheeps wool) which helps it "grip" in processing and take dyes well.

When commercially processed, huacaya fiber can be processed either using the woolen or worsted process and produces a soft, lofty thread or yarn. It's ideal for knitted wear or soft tweeds.

hucaya_face.jpg Huacayas come naturally in a wide array of colors with white, brown, and black being the most common.