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THE SURI ALPACA

Around the world, Suri alpacas are raised for their soft and luxurious fleece.  Suri alpaca fleece is considered a "specialty" fiber due to its limited availability and exquisite characteristics. It is recognized globally for its fineness, silky softness, light weight, durability, and luster.

Suri fiber can be turned into a wide array of products from next to skin apparel, to beautiful carpets. The only fleece finer than the alpaca is from its cousin the vicuna, which remains wild and protected in South America. Each spring, across North America, alpacas are shorn to harvest their fleeces. Suri owners may sell their fleeces to individuals or cooperatives; they may choose to send their fiber to a fiber mill for processing into yarn that they may sell or use themselves; or they may keep it for use in their own artistic endeavors.

In addition to selling the fleece and the animals, many Suri owners operate a retail store selling Suri alpaca products—either on or off their farms. Products are sold directly to consumers at their store or over the Internet. As a benefit to its members, the Suri Network provides an internet "storefront" for them to market their products online. Suri onwners also sell their products through craft fairs, farmers markets, and retail sites. Sales of these end-products can provide considerable supplemental income to Suri owners.

Some Suri breeders will use those alpacas that do not adequately meet their requirements for desirable fleece traits for meat and hides. This is a new market and has not gained total acceptance by all breeders. Suri alpaca manure is also excellent for compost and increasing soil fertility. READ MORE ABOUT SURIS

Suri and Huacaya Alpaca Fleece Types

There are two fleece types of alpaca, the huacaya and the Suri. When they are shorn, the Suri and Huacaya look very much alike, but once their fleece begins to grow, they can be easily differentiated by their distinctive types of fiber.

When you examine a huacaya fleece closely, you can see the individual fibers possess a wave or crimp. The fiber is very soft to the touch and sticks out perpendicularly from the skin giving the animal in full fleece a rounded appearance similar to sheep. There is no doubt that the full fleeced huacaya is cute, but a full fleeced Suri is even more captivating with an elegant and regal appearance.

A Suri’s fleece parts down the middle of the back and hangs in Iong, silky, locks. The individual fibers are long and straight. The Suri fleece possesses a silky feel and shine that drapes on the animal in lustrous locks. Electron microscopy reveals that Suri fiber is very different from any other animals' fiber- producing a natural fiber that is beautifully unique!
READ MORE ABOUT SURI FLEECE

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