Friday, 16 May 2014

Alpaca shearing sequence

At Six minutes an alpaca a video is a long job and needs a special set up at this busy time. This sequence of photographs is the best I could do but at least it a wee glimpse of Alpaca Shearing Toft style. For all those who are still shearing on the floor I have to warn you the floor gets further away each year as you get older and the fleece job is a pleasure when you work on a table.

First the alpaca is led to the shearing table. Lifted by the shearer and his handler onto the table.

Our shearing table staff hold the head whilst the alpaca is made secure by tethering its legs and stretching gently. Toe nails are quickly clipped at the same time whilst there are three people on the job.
Once our Shearing table oppo passes the alpacas head back to the Shearers handler they concentrate on rough sorting the fleece around the shearer shoving all the extremely rough stuff off the legs and belly and any contaminated fibre into the 'waste' bin.

The alpaca shearer shears one side, the alpaca is turned and the shears the other. Six minutes -tops.

Then finally the blanket, the best part of the fleece is taken to the sorting table to be skirted and sorted for processing into luxury TOFT knotting yarn.
It takes about six minutes on average. 10 alpacas per hour weather permitting. For 200 alpacas it's a full hands on two days of ferrying in our gorgeous teddy bears and running out the Pink Panthers.

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