Our goal is to keep fiber grading as straight forward as possible on the farmer's end. Our system is designed to be simple to understand while identifying the areas of the alpaca with generally different levels of fineness and staple length.
We ask that all farm's submitting fiber keep it separated based on how it comes off during shearing. Fiber should be sheared, kept separate by shearing location, and quickly skirted to remove barn yard debris and short cuts under 2” in staple length.
From there our sorters will work through it and provide total poundage of each grade submitted along with any notes they feel will help farms prepare future fiber submissions.
NEAFP does not require fiber to be sorted before it is submitted to us.
Basic Criteria for our Three Sorting Grades
Prime or Blanket: Comes from the area of an alpaca where a horse blanket would fit. Typically the finest, most uniform fleece from an alpaca. 3-7” in staple length with a minimum of coarser guard hair throughout fleece.
Neck / Upper Leg or Secondary: Similar to Prime, with shorter staple length and slightly coarser handle. 2" to 5” staple length, slightly higher percentage of guard hair than Prime or Blanket.
Chest / Belly / Lower Leg Third-Grade: Coarsest and most inconsistent of all alpaca fiber including the highest percentage of guard hair. 2 inch and up staple length.
We ask farms keep the fiber separate as it comes off the animal but once it hits the sorting table it's sorted into Prime, Secondary, and Thirds based on these main critera:
Depending on the alpaca's genetics, age, shearing/skirting techniques, & environment some or all of an animal's fiber will be skirted out and moved up or down to various grades based on it's overall quality.
Fiber that comes from the blanket area of an alpaca may not end up sorted in as that grade based on the criteria above. Neck and Upper Leg fibers also can be up or downgraded based on their overall quality and uniformity.
We will email you a fiber deposit confirmation with the total poundage of each grade checked into your account along with any notes from our sorters so you can get a better understanding of the fiber submitted and how it was graded.
Fiber Harvesting Guide [PDF]- Get the most usable fiber out of each year's shearing.
Fiber Collection Guide [PDF]- Learn how to successfully submit your fiber at a NEAFP Fiber Collection.
Fiber Collection Section - Explains the various ways you can submit your fiber to NEAFP.