Helpful Tips for Fleece Preparation

Help Hints

  1. Keep your pastures clean as possible by keeping mud puddles and ponds out of your pastures & dry lots
  2. Keep hay droppings picked up.  Avoid buying hay with seed heads in it.
  3. Eliminate burs, sand spurs and other plants from your pastures.
  4. Never use pine shavings as bedding.  Use straw if necessary. 
  5. NEVER use a leaf blower to blow your alpacas before shearing. It drives the dirt to the skin and makes your cut tips gritty. This is where the judges feel your fleece. It also destroys your crimp and bundling qualities of your fleece.  I can shake out most of the loose dirt on the skirting table.
  6. The day before shearing you clean off the outside of your alpaca’s fleece with a wand.  Pick off as much as you can including beans.
  7. Suri alpacas can be rinsed and put in front in fans
  8. Keep your alpacas cool with high velocity fans.
  9. At shearing take the fleece off as a whole blanket onto a 6X4 foot piece of brown paper. Then fold the edges over, then fleece and roll it up like a burrito.

Fleece Skirting Rules

  • Lay out fleece- cut side up
  • Pull small fleece samples to be your guide
  • Check length, tenderness, color check your fleece, out go spots
  • Take out the problem areas-armpit, groin, tail, neck
  • Skirt around the edges taking off anything that is less than 3 inches or not close to your samples in length, micron, uniformity, crimp or twist, color
  • Give you fleece a good bounce to get out the dirt and remove second cuts
  • Flip your fleece over- Remove stray pieces, pick out as much VM as you can without destroying the architecture. Look for hairy parts that need to come off.
  • Flip it back over and noodle for show or bag it for mill