Suri alpaca fiber can be processed into roving and yarn at a mill for spinning, felting, weaving, knitting and crocheting. This fiber has unique characteristics that you’ll need to keep in mind when creating the most amazing finished products.
I think what sets Suri apart is their beautiful drape and luster both on and off the animal. A full fleeced Suri alpaca walking gracefully in the pasture is a remarkable sight.
- Suri fiber does not have memory, so select projects carefully. For example made a Suri alpaca sweater for my dog… it kept stretching until he walked out of it.
- Woven Suri alpaca scarves are gorgeous but don’t weave too tightly
- You can knit a great super warm hat if you spin your roving into a thicker yarn and select patterns that aren’t too dependent on memory
- Suri fiber does felt…most of the time…but it is finicky. For frustration free felting, add 10-20% merino or other wools known to felt well
- Always patch test a small felt before proceeding to a larger project
- Use cool water when wet felting suri
- For needle-felting, use a finer gauge felting needle (#40) since Suri fiber is slick, fine, and slippery
- For needle-felting, use a coarser wool core and cover with Suri
- Each Suri alpaca’s fiber can be different (quite different) based on quality, age, nutrition, etc. so ask a lot of questions on best uses
- Shawls (lace-weight), cowls and scarves show off the natural beauty of the fiber.
- With seconds or thirds (quality of fiber), you can weave great rugs