The animals at Silverstream Alpaca Stud are mainly white and light fawn although recently we have set about establishing a herd of grey and rose grey huacayas.

A solid white fleece is a more commercially desirable colour as it can be dyed to a broader range of colours. It is more often a denser and finer fibre than coloured fleece.

The qualities of a great fleece can be categorized as:

  • Fineness – a lower micron means better handle or softness
  • Density of the fleece – a dense fleece produces more shear weight and therefore offers a better financial return
  • Consistency or uniformity of the fleece – known as the ‘standard deviation (SD)’
  • Lack of guard hair (guard hair is a coarse fiber that reduces the value of the fleece)
  • Well defined crimp – must show consistency throughout the fiber length and throughout the fleece
  • Silky sheen – an indicator of softness in handling
  • Cutting weight – this can be improved by staple growth, density and consistency

Silverstream’s aim is to consistently produce a fleece with a shear weight of not less than 5kg and a micron count below 21 at 3 years of age.