Alpaca Term (S)


Scouring: Cleaning raw wool or fiber to remove impurities like dirt, sweat, and grease by washing with soaps or with chemicals.

Second cut: Caused by re-shearing areas not sheared to the skin the first time - considered careless shearing. This diminishes the value of a fleece.

Selection criteria: Phenotypic values or information that are the reasons for breeding selection decisions.

Shearing: The once-a-year harvest of alpaca fiber. Shearing is normally done in mid-spring in order to help cool the alpaca through the summer and allow the coat time to grow back before the cold winter.

Shear: To remove an alpaca's fleece (preferably in one large piece or blanket) by hand or (most often) with electric shears.

Shrinkage: A reduction in width or length of a material caused by some treatments, especially washing. Also, a loss of weight and volume of wool due to scouring when grease, sweat, and foreign matter are removed.

Simply inherited trait: A trait affected by only a few genes.

Skein: Yarn wound into a loose, thick coil used for knitting or crochet.

Sire: The alpaca's father-sometimes called "herdsire." A male parent.

Sire summary: A list of genetic predictions and other useful information about the sires in a herd.

Spinning: The entire process of making yarn from fiber. The final step in the production of yarn. Also the twisting of the sliver or roving.

Skewbald: Pinto. An alpaca with white and brown patches.

Skirt: A verb for the process of removing contaminants from a shorn alpaca fleece by hand.

Specialty fibers: Fleece and fleece products of the goat and camel families. Mohair, cashmere, angora, alpaca, vicuña, guanaco, llama, and camel.

Spinning: The process of twisting fiber into yarn either with a spinning wheel, drop spindle or through the use of high-tech commercial machinery.

Standard Deviation (SD): The amount of variation from the average within a single set of data. The greater the standard deviation, the greater the difference between the highest and lowest values within the sample.

Staple length: The length of a lock of shorn alpaca wool.

Staple: An organized group or cluster of individual fibers of alpaca fiber. A large number of staples make up a fleece.

Stud: A male alpaca used for breeding progeny.

Suri: An alpaca type, known for long "pencils" of non-crimped fiber resembling dreadlocks. Its locks of fleece lay close to the body, twisting vertically toward the ground.

Synthetic dye: A chemically complex colorant derived from coal tar.

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