Altifibers developed a multistep industrial process focused on obtaining a highest quality product to satisfy the international markets.
Llamas and alpacas have lived in the highlands of Bolivia and Peru for thousands of years. It is known that the Incas have used llamas for transportation purposes and alpacas were mostly breed for their fine fibers.
In a country as Peru, with a long history in the industrialization of camelids fibers, the herders are already organized towards the automation process.
In the case of Bolivia, the herders of llama and alpaca are spread and not structured. They are in charge of breeding, raising and also of shearing the animals. After that, there are intermediate merchants who buy and collect the raw fiber from them, and sell it to Altifibers.
There are two basic kinds of Wool/Fibres yarns: Woolen and Worsted. Woolen contain short wool Fibres of two inches or less and Worsted come from longer Fibres that are more tightly twisted. A grading and sorting process is used to determine how the Fibres would be employed.
In the grading process, each fleece receives detailed examination and these are sorted by: length, fineness, and shade of colors. Further to the initial inspection, then the Raw Wool/Fibres (usually in a greased state) are inspected by hand and classified according to: diameter, length of Fibres, natural color, crimp and luster.
Since all fleeces contain more than one quality of Wool/Fibres, these are pulled apart and separated according to their matching (animal location source). For example, typically the shoulders, sides and back usually have the finest grades, since these parts of the animal get less wear and tear from the brush and long grass.
The clipped fleece is rolled up and tied, then sacked with 20 to 40 others in plastic or burlap bags weighing 200 to 400 pounds. The bags are then numbered to identify the source and sent to our Plant for processing, which takes us to the next phase in the production process.
The Wool/Fibres are then washed and scoured to remove grease, vegetable matter and other impurities. The three commercial scouring processes include soap and alkali, naphtha, and frosted methods. This is followed by a carefully controlled drying phase.
Carding prepares the Wool/Fibres for spinning by passing it through a system of mechanical rollers covered with wired teeth. The Wool/Fibres are tangled, laid in parallel and formed into a fine web and then divided into narrow continuous strips, or slivers.
After carding, the Wool/Fibres may still contain some short Fibres lying in several directions, which produce woolen fabrics like tweeds, with a slight fuzzy surface. The woolen slivers are then machine twisted into rope-like strands called rovings which are wound into balls ready for spinning.
For smoother Worsted Fabrics, like Gabardine and Crepe, the Wool/Fibres are Combed after the Carding stage to remove the short Fibres or Noils.
The Noils may be used to produce Woolen goods, blended with longer Fibres, to make felts.
Worsteds: A general term describing various fabrics woven from worsted yarns containing the longer fibers spun from combed fibers. Only the prime, longer fleece is used to produce worsted fabrics. Worsted fibers refers to tightly woven, smooth, clear finished goods in a variety of twill and other stronger weaves.
Single, or one-ply, yarns are single strands composed of fibers held together by at least a small amount of twist; or of filaments grouped together either with or without twist; or of narrow strips of material; or of single man-made filaments extruded in sufficient thickness for use alone as yarn (monofilaments). Single yarns of the spun type, composed of many short fibers, require twist to hold them together and may be made with either S-twist or Z-twist . Single yarns are used to make the greatest variety of fabrics.
Ply Yarns: Ply or folded yarns are composed of two or more single yarns twisted together. Two-ply yarn, for example, is composed of two single strands; three-ply yarn is composed of three single strands.
In making ply yarns from spun strands, the individual strands are usually each twisted in one direction and are then combined and twisted in the opposite direction. When both the single strands and the final ply yarns are twisted in the same direction, the fiber is firmer, producing harder texture and reducing flexibility. Ply yarns provide strength for heavy industrial fabrics and are also used for delicate-looking sheer fabrics.
Altifibers, produces with 100% noble fibers top quality worsted yarns using our own selected material for the kitting and weaving sector. Our yarn count range is from Nm 9 to Nm 28 in ecru and solid shades. They can be produced on standard cones, dye cones and in hanks.
Llama fiber comes in a rich palette of natural shades, but is easy to dye in order to satisfy the international fashion market.
The yarn is carried out in a pressurized vessel using ec-friendly dyestuffs which are approved for garment manufactures.