Since the United States first commercially imported alpacas in 1984, alpaca breeders have worked hard to produce offspring with the finest, softest, most lustrous fleece. Until recently the primary focus of the industry was on breeding to build a national herd of superior fleece producing livestock able to compete in the global market. The time has come to focus on the fleece!
The 2016 Alpaca Owners Association (AOA) Fleece Conference takes place July 21 -24, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA and will feature:
- AOA International Auxiliary Fleece Competitions
- Fleece, Fiber and Farm Seminars
- Livestock Business Seminars
- General Alpaca Seminars
- AOA Annual Meeting
- Fleece to Shawl Demonstration
- Photo Contest Display
- Student Design Competition Winners’ Display
- National Fleece Show and Vendors
The alpaca product vendors at this event will be open to the public on Saturday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 8 am. – 12 p.m. These vendors will offer a variety of spectacular and one-of-a-kind items such as alpaca sweaters, shawls, socks, stuffed animals and for the knitters and weavers out there, alpaca yarn! Alpaca yarn is second-to-none.
This year the first ever AOA Fiber Artist Marketplace will be featured, exclusively selling items “Made in America” from a variety of alpaca fleece producers.
You don’t want to miss this event on the lower level of Hyatt Regency in Arlington, VA. DC locals can take the metro to Crystal City Station and call the hotel for a free shuttle to the event.
About Alpaca Fleece
Alpaca fleece is stronger, lighter, warmer, and more resilient than wool from most breeds of sheep. Finer grades of alpaca fleece (known commercially as “Baby Alpaca”) are believed to be hypo-allergenic, meaning they do not irritate your skin as sheep’s wool sometimes does. Unlike sheep’s wool, alpaca fleece contains no lanolin and is therefore ready to spin after only nominal cleaning of the fleece. Prized for its unique, silky feel, and superb “handle,” alpaca fleece is highly sought-after by both cottage-industry artists (hand spinners, knitters, weavers, etc.) as well as the commercial fashion industry.
One facet of alpaca fleece that makes it so much in vogue is its great variety of natural colors; pure white, several shades of fawn and brown, several shades of gray and true black – some 17 official colors with many other subtle shades and hues. White, light fawn, and light gray can be readily dyed, thus offering a rainbow of colors for the fleece artist. Alpaca fleece can also be readily combined with other fine fibers like merino wool, cashmere, mohair, silk, and angora to attain incredibly interesting blends.
Come see what everybody is talking about at the 2016 AOA Fleece Conference.
For more information about the alpaca business, watch the industry’s video at http://youtu.be/cCv-3lfgTAo. To learn more about the Alpaca Owners Association or the AOA National Fleece Conference, visit www.alpacainfo.com.
Thank you for taking the time to read our fashion industry blog post. We hope that you have found this information about alpaca fleece to be informative.
You can learn more about alpaca in our textile fiber section.
If you have comments or questions, please add your thoughts in the discussion area below or contact directly to the Alpaca Owners Association.