Friday, April 29, 2011

Fiber Arts Friday ~ Shearing Day 2

I must admit  I haven't really done much since our last day of shearing on April 23.  Between Friday and Saturday we helped to shear 95 animals so this week I thought I'd just post some pictures to show what the shearing process is like.

The pictures were taken by Andrea's daughter Emily. We took 8 alpaca's to Wonder Why Alpaca Farm on Saturday and Emily agreed to take photos for me.

Once the shearer is all set up an alpaca is brought out and held in place so ropes can be placed around each leg. 
 Then the animal is picked up and the ropes are pulled taut so they can be laid down on their side.
The shearer starts by taking the fiber off from the middle of the alpaca, this is the prime fiber.  Once one side is done the animal is rolled over so the fiber can be removed from the opposite side.

While the animal is being shorn my husband, Jim, clips toenails and gives any needed shots.

The picture on the left shows the shearer trimming up the hind legs.  This fiber must be swept away to keep from contaminating the fiber we want to keep.  The right side shows the legs after being trimmed.  We like to leave fiber on their legs for two reasons.  One is so people can see what the suri fiber looks like and two is to help keep the flies from biting them.
Here are pictures of the before and the after.  What a difference a few minutes can make.  Now their all set for summer and I'm all set to start cleaning fiber for processing.


  1. Thank you so much for posting the photos and such a great explanation of the process. I've seen many pictures of alpaca shearing but was never sure what was actually going on. It's so different from shearing sheep that you really can't compare the two. I'm sorry I missed it. Hopefully next year I'll be there. Have a happy Friday!

  2. This is so awesome! I love all the photos of the shearing, it's so interesting to me b/c I've never been to one before!!


  3. This was so interesting, thanks for sharing!

  4. If I were there to help, I'd stuff so much loose fiber in my pockets...