Although fashionable garments made from alpaca fiber were popular among the well-to-do in the United States in the 1930s, the animals were not imported into this country until 1984. Since then the alpaca population has grown to around 100,000. As the population grows, we expect that a strong commercial market will develop in this country to meet the high demand for alpaca products. At present, much of the fleece is sold directly to hand spinners and weavers. Typically, alpacas are shorn once a year in the late spring to keep the alpacas cool in the summer. We will be offering fleece for sale in June.
Marketing alpaca fiber is the central objective of the Alpaca Fiber Cooperative of North America (AFCNA). This organization has been founded to serve its members by offering a distribution channel for alpaca fiber, by increasing consumer awareness, and by promoting the sale of alpaca products in the United States.