A Plymouth, Illinois family is making alpacas their business. Lindsey Moore and her family has been raising alpacas for several years near Plymouth, Illinois.
She shears her alpaca herd in the spring and then begins processing the alpaca fiber during the summer and winter months.
Alpacas are native to South American countries like Peru, Northern Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile.
They're herd animals, that look like miniature llamas. But Moore says they can come with a bit of an attitude.
"Each one has their own personality," Moore said. "They're also really good with children. They like that kids are on their level - eye to eye. But they do spit when they're fighting amongst each other or if they feel threatened by a predator."
But spitting aside, w hile alpacas like Titan and Rascal are exotic and inquisitive creatures, they're also known for their fleece which is called the magical fabric by some. Click here to meet Titan and Rascal on KHQA This Morning.
"It doesn't have the lanolin in it so its considered hypoallergenic," Moore said. "It's flame retardant, it's water repellant, and moisture wicking. It's also stain resistant."
Moore uses a drum carding tool to board the raw fiber. Click here to watch a demonstration of carding fiber from KHQA This Morning.
After its carded, Moore spins it into yarn. Click here to watch spinning from KHQA This Morning.
From here it's knitted and crocheted into some of the warmest accessories you can own.
And get this - alpaca fiber is also being incorporated into Armani suits, because of its similar characteristics to cashmere. It's a trend that's catching on.
"A lot of people find that sheep's wool is itchy," Moore said. "Alpacas' fleece is so soft that people find they can wear it and they're warm and it keeps you dry."
And with all that its no wonder that people say:
"Once you go alpaca, you can never go backa," Moore said with a laugh.
Click here to watch more from KHQA This Morning about an alpacan remedy for stinky feet!
Lindsey Moore opens up her farm and studio to guests and school classes on a regular basis. Visit her farm on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Littlecreekalpacas.
If you would like to contact Moore directly, call 309-236-7957.