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Spinable Critters


Spinable Critters

I will be posting photos of some of the animals that provide excellent fiber for spinning on this page.  People often ask me where I get my fiber, so this is an attempt to answer that question.  (NO, you don't need to kill the animal to get the fleece!!!)  I'll be adding photos slowly but surely.  Suggestions welcome!


This is a yak.  They are found in Tibet and northern India.  This is a very nice spotted one, but many are all black.  The fleece is a bit like llama or alpaca, sort of soft and hairy and is generally referred to as yak hair rather than yak wool.

This is a young male angora goat.  Since this buck has already sprouted horns, I suspect he is a yearling.  The fleece from an angora goat is called mohair.  I use only kid and yearling mohair for my hats because it is extremely soft with a beautiful sheen, especially in sunlight.

This is a young female angora goat.  The females produce softer fleece than the males, even when fully grown.  This doe looks like a yearling to me.

Lincoln/Merino cross sheep from Homestead Wool & Gift Farm.  Merino sheep produce some of the softest wool available.

Corriedale lambs. Corriedale is the oldest of the crossbred breeds and was first registered in New Zealand in 1868.  It is the result of selected breeding using Lincoln and English Leicester rams on Merino ewes. The wool is very soft and ideal for baby wear and felting. 

Shetland sheep from Homestead Wool & Gift Farm.  Shetland wool can be spun into a very nice fine, soft yarn.

Llama from Homestead Wool & Gift Farm.  Llama wool is similar to alpaca, but coarser.  This one looks like he's either had a hair cut or got very wet!

Same cute llama looking fluffier.

This is a very cute female alpaca named "Meadow" from www.bluemoonranch.net.   Alpacas and llamas are both members of the camel family, and so look a little bit alike.

This is a close up of Meadow.

This is Kukinda, a very handsome male alpaca, also from Blue Moon Ranch.

Kukinda up close.  What a gorgeous animal!

Suri alpacas kissing. The fiber of suri alpacas is greatly cherished by the hand spinner. It has the softness of cashmere, luster of silk, warmth and featherweight of goose down, durability of wool, and its ability to accept color dyeing makes it a favorite of all fiber enthusiasts. Suri fiber blends well with wool and other fine fiber, including silk, and the yarn can be knit, crocheted, or woven.

Suri alpacas are distinguished in the camel family by their unique fiber character. The fiber hangs in long, separate, distinctive locks (a bit like an angora goat) compared to the soft, wooly look of huacaya alpacas.  (See Meadow and Kukinda above)


The Suri appears as a distinct breed in pre-Colonial textiles, pottery, and jewelry. The word "suri" appears to originate from the Aymara language, and refers to the lustrous quality exhibited by the feathers of a South American cousin of the Ostrich.
See http://www.surinetwork.org/history.htm for more info.

This is Cassandra, an adult female German breed angora rabbit from  www.angoraaffaire.com.  Angora rabbits produce soft, lustrous hair in great abundance, which spins into beautiful yarn.

This is Muffin, an adult tortoise shell doe from Angora Affaire.  Beautiful color!

French angoras look more like ordinary rabbits, having less hair around the face. There are four breeds of angora rabbits: English, Giant, German and French.



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