LAMAR • The alpacas at Arella Farm in Lamar got their yearly shearing this past Wednesday. The shearing, performed by Clean-Cut Shearing with shearingalpaca.com, is a process that both yields valuable fabric used in various products, and is necessary for the alpaca’s health and comfort.
Arella Farm is home to over a dozen alpacas, both of the Suri and Huacaya breed, that provide valuable fibers used in the making of clothing such as scarves, gloves, and socks. Alpaca fleece is notable for its softness and resistance to odor.
Great care is taken to ensure no alpacas are harmed while in the shearing process. To ensure the process is done with the utmost care, alpaca farms such as Arella Farm enlist the help of groups such as Clean-Cut Shearing, who specialize in the shearing process and are trained to shear the alpacas in as delicate a manner as possible. Clean-Cut Shearing is part of shearingalpaca.com, a group of independent professional alpaca shearers who travel the country helping other farms such as Arella Farm shear alpacas. These groups enlist shearers with over 3,000 shearing jobs completed apiece, highlighting their experience.
To begin the shearing process, the fiber is sheared off the alpaca’s mid-section first. This “blanket” is then separated into bags by alpaca and properly labeled. This section of the alpaca's fur is considered the softest part of the alpaca's entire coat. The alpacas’ teeth and nails are checked during this process to ensure they are healthy, then the remainder of the alpaca is sheared. While the process may look like it makes the alpaca uncomfortable, the shearers are specially trained to ensure no harm comes from the shearing process. No alpacas were harmed during Wednesday’s shearing day.