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NUNO FELTING COURSE                      SPINNING & WEAVE COURSE                     LEARN TO SPIN


                SPINNING & WEAVING                            SPINNING

Working with Alpaca Fibre

Alpaca is a soft, luxurious, warm, hypoallergenic natural fiber. 


I have always worked with the fleeces from our herd and am a spinner, weaver, felter and knitter. Alpaca fibre is extremely versatile and makes the most wonderful fabric, be it knitted, woven or felted. The first stage is to sort and grade the fleeces. The fibre needs little preparation, however the cria fleeces can be full of debris - just like any babies they love messy play and will take half a hedge with them if they can!

Natural Colours

Natural alpaca has a beautiful lustre and comes in many colours. Over the years we have focussed on a breeding programme to accentuate their wonderful variety and have alpacas from pure white to the deepest black, with numerous creams, fawns & browns in between - not to mention all the gorgeous greys, which are my personal favourite.  


Hand spinning is a gentle process and a great way to relax and focus on the moment. Making your own yarn is extremely rewarding, the process of taking a project from the animal - be it an alpaca, sheep or your pet dog - to a finished garment has a marvellous sense of achievement.


Alpaca yarn can be knitted to make the finest cobweb lace shawl or a super warm winter jumper. The natural insulating properties of alpaca make the yarn an especially good choice for people with poor circulation. We keep a beautiful range of 100% naturally coloured alpaca yarn for weaving or knitting. Please visit our Store for our current stock.


Alpaca makes a wonderful woven fabric that is soft, warm and has an elegant drape. I prefer to use a simple weave that allows the natural beauty of the yarn to characterise the pieces. Working with handspun yarn gives fantastic texture and blends beautifully with our mill spun yarn. As Alpaca is such a strong natural fibre I use our yarn for the warp and weft to create a truly luxurious finish. 


Using our  alpaca fiber I am exploring the world of natural dyes and love the variations in tone they produce. For example, growing and dyeing with our own Indigo plants has given me some beautiful blues to work with and Queen Anne’s Lace produced wonderful yellows. We have a fantastic range of natural colours within the herd and it is exciting to create some dyed yarns to compliment them. 


Alpaca makes fantastic strong, soft felt. It can be used to make the lightest Nuno felted silk shawl or a sturdy felt hat that will keep the coldest wind at bay! I prefer working with raw fleece as the fibre has an inherent memory that produces wonderful textured effects. For our Nuno Felt silk scarves we use the very soft blanket area of the fleeces to create an extremely lightweight felt combined with silk.


Alpaca is soft and silky, once you've knitted with alpaca yarn you may never go back! You can substitute alpaca for most patterns but it is helpful to know the length of yarn needed (not just the weight), as alpaca is a denser fibre which makes the length per 100g slightly shorter than an equivalent sheep wool. 

As the fibre has no lanolin, it is hypoallergenic, and a great choice for people who are allergic to sheep wool. 

Burnt Fen Alpacas Yarn.

For details of all our courses please email or visit our diary page