Sorter tips

Sorting Tips

Dear AFCNA members
We want to let you know how important you are to us and how important your fleece is to the success of the co-op. With that said, it is important that we have guidelines for the clip collection so that everyone gets the credit they deserve for the fiber they have sent. Our fiber sorters have compiled some tips and pointers that might make the clip collection process more efficient.

  • We have many members who tumble their alpaca fiber. This is only beneficial if the fleece has been properly skirted. Otherwise, the guard hair and good fiber get matted together so it is very hard to separate and determine a grade. If it is salvageable, we must allocate it to the highest grade of micron we find. If not, it is deemed to have no commercial value (“NCV”).
  • We do accept seconds and are very pleased to receive them; however, when all of the seconds are thrown into one bag it is almost impossible to separate out each micron, so it cannot be used. Our suggestion is to put the seconds from each alpaca into a small bag and then include that bag with the blanket it was taken from. Only one contribution form should be included.
  • A contribution form must be placed in each bag of fiber. When we receive your fiber it is weighed and then separated by color, so if there is no form in the bag you could lose credit for that fleece.
  • On the contribution form there is an area for you to include your alpaca’s name. This will help you to keep track of the micron of each alpaca’s fleece. It does not help to write it on the bag.
  • If someone gives you fiber to donate to the co-op, please write this on the contribution form so that we will know that it is a donation.

It is very important that you fill in all of the information on the contribution form. This helps us to identify you, and ensure that you receive credit for your clip. If for some reason the member number on the form is wrong or is missing we can use the other information on the form to identify the sender. If you have a large herd, you might want to complete one form (except for the alpaca name) and then photocopy as many as you need. Then just add the alpaca’s name for the appropriate fleece.

How the length of the fiber is determined. When we grade a fleece, we spread it out onto our table so that the second cuts fall through. A few staples of fleece are taken to check the strength and length, the same as the judge does when evaluating fleeces in a show. If we find short pieces, then the fleece will be considered short even if there are long pieces present, because when long fiber is spun with short fiber, it makes weak spots in the yarn.