5 Fiber Farms Across Missouri You Can Visit

Processing sheep and alpaca fiber is process that starts with shearing the animals. From there, the fiber is sorted out by quality, and fiber farmers make the choice to process the fiber themselves or send it to a mill. The fleece must be carefully cleaned of dirt and debris, then carded. The processing may end once the carded fiber is turned into batting or worked into long, narrow ropes called roving, which is used by spinners to create yarn. Sometimes a mill handles that next step, both spinning and dyeing the yarn into a finished product.

Whirlwind Ranch Celebrates 24 Years Raising Alpacas

Liz began her operation with just a few alpacas, and for good reason. Alpacas were $20,000 to $30,000 each during those early years, according to Liz, and the females only have one o–ffspring, called a cria, each year. From those small beginnings, Liz built a herd that, at its largest, numbered 142.