Please join us in the last installment of our Peruvian blog series, inspired from our recent trip to
Clean locks are picked open in preparation for carding and
combing. Below, is a photo of an industrial picker that mechanically opens the
up, the alpaca is carded and then put into top. In the photo below, fibers are
being processed into top, moving from the left hand side of the image to the right. The fibers are lined up parallel to each other in
preparation for worsted type spinning.
At this point in the process the top is too thick for the
spinning frame. It needs to be drafted and made thinner into pencil roving. In
the photo below, the alpaca top in the barrel is processed through the machine
which reduces the sliver weight of the alpaca in preparation for spinning. The
reduced top is then fed onto the vertical bobbins.
In the photo below, you can see a close up of the filled bobbins with the alpaca
ready to be loaded for spinning.
Once the bobbins are filled
with the reduce sliver weight top, the alpaca is then drafted into singles by
the machine pictured below.
The yarn is almost complete!
One of the final steps is to the ply of the yarn. In the photo below, this
machine can take up to 6 cones of singles (in the photo they are making a 4 ply
yarn) and ply them together. It does that by drawing the singles together,
twisting them and finally winding the newly plied yarn onto cones that are visible
on the top of the machine.
The final, optional step, is to wind the yarn onto skeins.
In the photo below you can see the yarn is going from cone to skein in
preparation for the dye process or to be packaged and sent to Ashland Bay for
our lovely independent dyers.