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Virtual Fiber Market sponsored by CIABA and powered by AlpacaStreet.com is a the fiber world's online market place for graded fiber. Find the fiber type, color, and quantity you want and purchase it directly from the breeder. Because it's graded, you know you will be getting just the type of fiber you need for your project. For those with graded fiber to sell, there is no easier way to go to market with your fiber than at Virtual Fiber Market!
The Virtual Fiber Market is ready for your fiber now! CIABA and Breeder Program MAX members can load as many fiber lots as they wish. Simply login to AlpacaStreet; go to the Virtual Fiber page and click the "Add your own" link. MAX members also have a My Fiber Link on their farm page that will display all the fiber listings from that farm that are posted on VFM.
Not a Breede Program MAX member? Join Now for only $99/yr!
The Virtual Fiber Market on YesFiber.com features fiber that has been sorted and graded. Sorting assures a more uniform raw fiber that can then be used in more specific and appropriate applications. Properly sorted fiber will result in less waste, easier processing, and better end products. All of this results in a heightened awareness and appriciation for alpaca fiber.
The Virtual Fiber Market currently recognizes both the Canadian method, as taught at Olds College; and the Certified Sorted method, as taught through Certified Sorted Systems,LLC. The fiber is graded according to length (woolen: 1.5"-3" and worsted 3"-6"), fineness and color. The Virtual Fiber market enables buyers to choose the type, grade and color they want. then see exactly what is available. Buyers save time and money by finding the fiber that is just right for their project, with less waist and processing time.
Certifed Sorted is the sorting hybrid. Sorters trained by Certified Sorted Systems, LLC are held to a standardized sorting protocol, not only in the act of sorting, but also through the information they provide their clients. The act of sorting creates a more uniform raw fiber. Certifice Sorting, not only makes a more uniform fiber, it also increases the longevity, wearability, and over-all yield of whatever the project is.
Sorting and grading is a "win-win" for both producers and buyers by efficiently getting the fiber from the animal to the end product.
Fiber of the gods
That’s a hefty title to tag onto alpaca fiber, but history bears out the importance alpacas have had in the culture of South Americans. Alpacas were a cherished treasure of the ancient Incan civilization and played a central role in that high Andean Plateau culture. Historians feel that alpacas were domesticated as early as 6000 years ago. Alpaca were associated with the goddess “Pachmana”, the Earth Mother in Andean mythology. Legend has alpacas on loan as a gift to humans, to be left on Earth for as long as they were properly cared for and respected. Among the Andean people cloth was currency and cloth from the fleece of the alpaca provided the highest currency. The Incan royalty clothed themselves in garments made of alpaca.
Alpaca fiber was a well kept secret until the 1800’s when Sir Titus Salt, a textile industrialist found a bale of alpaca fiber among his imported wool bales. Investigation of this “new” fiber revealed that alpaca fiber was stronger than sheep’s wool and its strength did not diminish with fineness of staple. Today alpacas produce a fiber in more natural colors than any other fiber producing animal that the world recognizes for its fineness, warmth and lightweight strength.
There are currently over 100,000 alpacas in the US. Today the center of the alpaca textile industry is in Arequippa, Peru with 99% of the world’s three million alpacas found in Peru, Chile and Bolivia.
The physical attributes of alpaca help them attain an eco-friendly status both off and on the hoof!
- Alpaca’s feet are padded and leave little impact even on the most delicate terrain.
- They are efficient water and grass consumers, requiring much less than other farm animals.
- An alpaca produces enough fleece each year to produce several soft warm garments.
- The fleece is harvested each year without any harm to the alpaca—the definition of a renewable resource!
- Alpacas are clean (share a communal dung pile), quiet, and odor free.
- Alpaca fiber can be cleaned without using harsh chemicals.
- Alpaca is found in twenty-two distinct natural colors.
Courtesy of American Alpaca Textiles, LLC