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Topic: Buying fleece from farm?  (Read 4171 times)
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chemical_emily
« on: March 13, 2012 01:31:06 PM »

I hope I'm posting this in the right place. Browsed around, and landed here!

I'm lucky enough to live in Indiana and be surrounded by farms full of alpaca. I was wondering if it's possible/how to go about buying fleece or top directly from the farms? Has anyone done this before and what should I expect? Thanks in advance!
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2012 04:14:33 PM »

Contact the farm, ask them if you can buy direct from them.  When they shear, you will want  only the blanket.  You don't want the leg, neck or leg fiber.  Ask if they blow out the fiber before shearing.
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Cyndi

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chemical_emily
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2012 10:13:37 PM »

Wow, thanks so much! My boyfriend asked me, 'If you buy it from the farm, are you going to have to pick poop and straw out of the wool?' Now that I know what to ask, hopefully I can avoid that so eloquently-put task.
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2012 10:39:10 PM »

If they don't separate their fleece into Prime (just the blanket) and 2nds (usually the neck and legs), then go to another farm.

You shouldn't have to pay for inferior fleece.

Alpacas & Llamas don't have lanolin, but they love to roll in the dirt.  If the owners blow out the fiber before shearing, a lot of of the dust and dirt will be removed.
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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2012 07:20:29 AM »

You definitly want to know if they blow out the fleece.  I got a bag of Alpaca free once, but it wasn't just the blanket, and it was definitly not blown out.  It was ugly. I separated it out, and washed the nice parts, and then found out I was allergic.  LOL But Alpaca is gorgeous fibre. I hope you find a good farm, with wonderful fibre!
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chemical_emily
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2012 12:25:39 AM »

Yeah....I'm a spinner and knitter who's allergic to wool. But I keep buying it when I find it's just too beautiful to resist! Methinks I need to find some more free time and contribute to craftster's swaps.....
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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2012 04:47:20 AM »

I'm a shepherd and would love for someone to contact me about purchasing our fleece directly from the farm.  Go ahead and call. 
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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2012 07:22:34 AM »

Emily, Thankfully there is so much more out there to spin then just wool.

MW, what type of sheep do you have?
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2012 08:37:15 AM »

Don't forget to send me some this spring, MW!
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2012 01:35:57 PM »

We have texel sheep.  Here's our Beatrice.  Gotcha covered, Belladune!

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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2012 01:46:51 PM »

How many sheep does it take to make a sweater? LOL.

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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2012 02:50:34 PM »

Beatrice looks like one pretty sheep!   Smiley

Ps) MissingWillow - Your blog pictures are amazing! 

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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2012 03:03:16 PM »

Aw, thanks Trekky, you just made my day!  I use some of our fleece to fill pet beds.  Our border collie Jenna loves hers. 
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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2012 04:11:50 PM »

Aha!  I have texel up in my fiber room I think I got from you from STS.
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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2012 04:16:54 PM »

I think you're right!
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« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2012 07:10:45 PM »

whoohhooo!  Love me some wool Cheesy

CLM, you could get at least 2 sweaters off one sheep if you did it right Cheesy  Lots of work though
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« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2012 07:29:02 PM »

Isn't that funny that the covering for one of them can make coverings for 2 of us? Wow. Thanks sheep!

Hey, can you use that neck and leg fluff for felting at least?
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« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2012 06:19:41 AM »

Yes you can, if you are willing to do the processing.  The thing with leg and neck wool is it's usually very full of veg, and can be more worn.  Same goes for the back wool, some of the time.   Just a lot of picking often.
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« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2012 10:17:06 AM »

Woohoo! Texel sheep...

We have Texel  Grin as in a small island of the Netherlands...

Couldn't resist and had to respond! Cute sheep, btw!
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chemical_emily
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2012 05:55:50 PM »

I had to fill out some 'where I want to be in 20 years' thing for a class this semester, and I put 'Own my own alpaca/sheep farm with fiber studio'. My professor proceeded to ask me what the heck I was talking about. : )
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AlpacaNanny
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2012 05:56:13 AM »

As a fiber artist and an alpaca breeder I know how important it is to handle the fleece when shearing!!!!

We use sheets of tyvek (sp?) to collect the prime fleece from our animals.  We lay down the tyvek, with one edge under the animal (some people use plastic sheeting) and as the prime fleece comes off the animal, roll it onto the tyvek.  The result is a fleece that is laid out in one layer with the cut side up.  We then use the air compressor and light blow off any small short cuts.   The plastic/tyvek is larger than the fleece so I can fold the edges over the fleece ad roll it up like a jelly roll.  When I am ready to use the fleece, I simply unroll it and it is VERY easy to skirt, take out any VM (vegetable matter) and sort into grades.

If I am purchasing any fleece, I always inquire how the fleece is collected.  I have gotten fleece from farms that is in garbage bags - it may be cheap - but it can be frustrating to sort!!!!

Louise
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