Subscriber Exclusive

From Alpaca Pasture to Pullover

What is the path from those irresistibly fluffy alpacas to the tidy skeins of remarkable softness in your yarn basket?

Pat Olski Aug 31, 2023 - 9 min read

From Alpaca Pasture to Pullover Primary Image

A photo can only hint at the alluring softness of spun alpaca yarn. Photo courtesy of Three Points Fiber Mill

To bring you small-batch alpaca yarns, a group of intrepid farmers with vision and entrepreneurial spirit are balancing two careers: alpaca farmer and yarn-mill owner. Breeding and raising these fetching animals require an understanding of specialized animal husbandry. Spinning fleece into yarn and readying it for sale is where agriculture meets industry. Most of these businesses are family businesses with all hands on deck. We asked six farmers to shed light on their dual roles in this growing industry.

The baby takes center stage in this sweet family portrait of four generations of alpacas. Photo courtesy of Three Points Fiber Mill and Alpaca Farm

Herd First or Mill First?

All of the farmers we interviewed were alpaca farmers before they were mill owners. Each farm has a different origin story, and some started with their heads, while some started with their hearts.

No subscription? You're missing out.

Subscribe today to access all of the premium knitting content available.