National Alpaca Farm Days 2014!

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Image: By the way…

I can’t imagine many things more fun for a textile artist than visiting a farm full of cute animals frolicking, awaiting for their yearly shearing. That’s right, I’m talking alpaca. Farms full of alpaca. This weekend spend some time with these incredible creatures and the people who care for them during annual National Alpaca Farm Days!

Alpaca have been domesticated for thousands of years, originally by the Moche people of Peru. They have always been prized for their lustrous and abundant fleece, which is warmer and softer than that of sheep. Additionally, alpaca fleece is lanolin-free! (Lanolin is a greasy or waxy substance removed from sheep wool after shearing.) This makes alpaca fleece hypoallergenic and all-around wonderful for fiber use – from socks to scarves and mittens to sweaters!

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Image: Blue Sky Alpacas

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Image: The Sparta Independent

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Summer coat alpaca! Image: Southern Maryland News

Alpaca have only been in North America since 1984, but are part of a large and ever-growing farm industry. This weekend you can visit a farm near you for free, feel their luxurious fleece for yourself, and maybe stock up on a variety of products the farm has to offer!

Here are some farms near major North American cities that are participating in this fun event:

Chicago: The Midnight Moon Alpaca Ranch /937 S Hillside Ave. / Elmhurst, IL 60126-4955 / Saturday and Sunday during daylight hours

Providence, Rhode Island: Hidden Hollow Alpacas / 316 Tremont St. / Dighton, MA 02764 / Saturday and Sunday during daylight hours.

Denver: Ancient Treasures Alpaca Ranch, LLC / 7870 Indiana Street / Arvada, CO 80007 / Saturday and Sunday, 10AM – 4PM

Baltimore: Breezy Hill Farm LLC / 2820 Woodbine Rd. / Woodbine, MD 21797 / Saturday 9:30AM – 6PM, Sunday 10AM – 5PM

San Francisco: Ocean View Ranch / 19534 Montevina Rd. / Los Gatos, CA 95033 / Saturday 10AM – 4PM

Please check the National Alpaca Farm Days website for hundreds more farms offering a fun weekend for fiber enthusiasts, textile lovers and the whole family!

Featured Image: Blue Sky Alpacas

About Lynn Hunter

Lynn Hunter has been working in textiles and instructing at the Textile Arts Center since she returned to NYC after a long stint exploring Europe & Asia in 2013. Outside of TAC, Lynn splits her time between creatively directing at Heirloom, an antique rug company and exploring her erotic rope project Tight Rope.

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