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Alpaca Yarn for Covid Times

Christine Booth
August 26, 2021
Graham and a black alpaca are nose-to-nose at Tin Dragon Cottages.
Yes! Your fibre will make a good yarn.

During the 2020 lock-down I reached out to a large textile company for assistance with processing alpaca yarn. I needed advice to solve a problem with static build-up in our alpaca fibre processing mill.

In 2020 Graham and I set up a small-scale alpaca-fibre carding plant. As part of our research, we needed to find a conditioning oil for the “opened” alpaca fibre. Conditioning oil is needed to remove a build up of static on the opened fibre.

A long search

Of course, I searched endlessly online. Then I sent numerous communications to textiles companies and similar cottage-scale alpaca yarn processing businesses. Because businesses did not reply, I was feeling frustrated. So it looked like I would have to experiment with home-made salad-oil-type conditioners. 

Then I discovered Vickers Oils. This company not only sells lubricants for the textile industry but also has an agent company in Australia ( Maytex Machinery Group Pty. Ltd.) – so I reached out to them.

To the rescue...

I received a prompt reply from Vickers oil.

But--even more-- I was “blown away” by a response from Marvin Krause (Customer Service - Export Sales) at Vickers Oils. Marvin offered to provide us with a sample of fibre-carding lubricant!

Then just 48hours after receiving the generous offer by email, a drum of YARNOL was delivered to our office door in Branxholm, Tasmania. But Vickers had sent it sent from the UK. How was this even possible when it can take up to three weeks just to receive a 200g item from Melbourne using our local postal services!

A small herd of 6 alpacas sitting in the green grass.
Our herd was impressed
A young couple standing in front of a stone cottages looking out over a timber fence to a nearby herd of alpacas.
Ah Back studio cottage

This was much-needed good news during the time of World Pandemic. Our tourism business was closed for a few months, so this cheered us up. We found focusing on something positive and productive was a good cure for the stay-at-home despondency!

Alpaca yarn in production

It is a delight to process the fibre from our small herd of alpacas into a useful product that spinners, weavers and knitters can enjoy! So, if you like using natural alpaca fibre, you can view our online alpaca fibre shop.

A bulk amount of carded brown alpaca fibe
Carded alpaca fibre ready to spin into yarn
Carded white alpaca fibre has been spun into skeins of yarn.
Home spun alpaca yarn

About Vickers

Vickers Oils started trading in 1828 in Leeds, UK. It is a private, independent company now led by the 5th and 6th generation of the family. Vickers Oils is known as a reliable supplier of speciality lubricants in Marine, textile and Food Grade sectors. They have customers in over 60 countries. Furthermore, Vicker's 200 years of industry experience means the company has a wealth of knowledge in lubricants for fibre and yarn processing.

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