Camelidae: Camelids, including camels, llamas, guanacos, and vicunas. Alpacas are part of this larger biological family (lama pacos).
Card: A mechanical or motorized device that brushes fibers into a batt.
Carding: The final cleaning process for alpaca fiber, done by hand or machine. The last step before spinning.
Character: Overall evaluation of an alpaca fleece after examining handle, staple length, fineness, density, luster, and softness.
Chacu: A wild vicuña drive and subsequent release that originated with the Incas and is still practiced ritually in Peru.
Characteristic: A phenotypic trait, such as crimp or fineness.
Chromosome: One of a number of long strands of DNA and proteins present in the nucleus of every cell.
CLAA Canadian Llama and Alpaca Association: Canada's national alpaca (and llama) organization. This group also operates the Canadian purebred pedigree for alpacas (and llamas).
Close inbreeding: A measure of the degree of relationship between ancestors. The closer the relationship, the more acute the inbreeding.
Collateral relatives: Relatives that are not direct ancestors or direct descendants of an individual--siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.
Color genes: Genes that determine an alpaca's coat color.
Comb: A means of aligning alpaca wool fibers by hand or machine combing to prepare it for spinning into worsted yarn.
Conformation: The shape or contour of the alpaca’s body, or an appropriate arrangement, or balance of all body parts.
Core Sampling: gathering samples of fiber for testing from bales by inserting a hollow tube into each.
Core Spinning: A filament (usually elastic under tension) is covered with a sheath of staple fibers to produce stretchy yarn. This yarn (and fabric made from it) has characteristics of the sheath fiber plus the advantage of stretch and recovery.
Corrective mating: A union of alpacas that is intended to correct faults such as mating a dam with a bad bite to a stud with a well-aligned bite.
Coverage: A term for abundant fiber growth in areas other than the primary blanket, such as on the ears (cap) and the lower legs.
Covering Sire: A term used to describe the male that a female has been mated to. Primarily used during the process of mating for record keeping and when the female is confirmed pregnant. Conscientious record keeping is key to ensure the accurate identity of the covering sire, so the resulting cria’s parentage can be correctly traced.
Cria: (Cre-a) A camelid less than one year old, derived from Spanish terms for creation and nursing.
Crimp: An even, corrugated undulation along the length of a fiber or lock. A higher number of crimps per inch often indicates a finer fiber.
Crinkle: The even, corrugated wave seen in a single fiber of huacaya fleece.
Culling: Determining which animals will not be bred in a herd.
Curl: Spiraling, lustrous ringlets along the length of suri fiber that give the coat a “drenched” look.
Cuticle: The outer layer of cells of a fiber, made evident under a microscope. They are hard, flattened, do not fit together evenly and have tips that point away from the fiber shaft, forming serrated edges. These serrated edges cause the fibers to grip together during processing and manufacturing. See also scales.
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