Each year when the warm season arrives it means one thing beyond that the winter blues are gone, our alpacas are due for their annual haircut!
Each spring our alpaca are relieved of their winter coats which give the fibers needed that are used in our socks. But more than just gaining the fibers for our socks, the shearing process for alpaca is healthy, natural and needed. Unlike some animals, alpaca do not naturally shed their fleece and need a little help to do so.
During the winter months alpaca grow a thick and luscious coat that in many places around the world, where alpaca are native to, the thick coat is essential for their survival. History shows us that alpaca are native to the much cooler, high mountain foothills of the Peruvian Andes. Our alpaca fibers come directly from our alpaca farm where they are born and raised in Missouri and may not be used to Midwestern summers and could overheat with their full coats past the winter months.
How does the shearing process work? We jokingly call it a haircut but there are just a few more detailed steps involved to ensure our alpaca are cared for and sheared safely.
First, each alpaca is brushed from head to toe removing any grass, straw or debris from their coat that would be uncomfortable during the shearing process.
Second, at our farm, a two-person team works together to carefully remove the winter coat of each alpaca so the fibers can be turned into what we know and love as, Norlander Alpaca Socks!
Each alpaca can be sheared in as short as five minutes and can produce about five pounds of fiber to make alpaca socks with.
Want to know more about the basics of how we gather the alpaca fibers to create Norlander socks? Email us all your comments and questions – we’d love to hear from you!