Process

SELECTING THE Finest Fiber

Sounds funny, but a great piece of alpaca clothing or an alpaca accessory begins in the barn. At least, as we create our yarn that’s where it begins. We select females in our herd with the finest fiber for breeding to males that we carefully select to maximize the quantity of the finest, lowest micron count, fiber possible.

We make sure that the feed and water each animal receives is appropriate for fine fiber production. Our shearer is an artist who can carefully shear the animal for the maximum length of fiber without injury to the animal.

After shearing, the fiber from each animal is carefully hand separated, called “skirting”, into three grades: firsts, seconds and thirds. Each grade has its specific use, but only firsts are used to produce our clothing.

Alpaca_fiber_breeding
Alpaca_fiber_breeding_yarn

Local artisans dye or spin the fiber into beautiful blends and superb yarns for clothing.

We meld the talents of a select group of local and Midwest artisans with our own. It’s an artistic collaboration. Carding artists from small, independent mills custom blend our alpaca fiber.

We hand-spin the fiber and use that yarn to create and market wear-able, unique and durable fashions through our own brand, 5miE.