Guanaco Fiber & Yarns
Guanacos look similar to their descendants, the llama, but are more deer like in their face and legs. Their origin is in South America, and that is where the majority of guanacos are found today. They are also sprinkled around the world in zoos, and on fiber farms, where their wonderfully fine, soft fiber is sought after.
Sam had never intended to become a Guanaco breeder, but over the years, the farm has suffered several major, and many minor losses of sheep due to predators, as it is located in a rural, remote area only a few miles from the La Sal Mountain Range. Although Guanacos are less “personable” than most Llamas and Alpacas, remaining more “stand-offish”, they take their sheep-guarding duties very seriously when raised with sheep, and, in fact, are alert to strangers and disturbances at all times.
And they grow lovely fiber!
Guanacos have a double coat similar to cashmere; the under coat is a fine soft downy fiber and the outer coat consists of much coarser guard hairs which act to keep debris and moisture out. Guanaco fiber must go through the dehairing process which removes these coarser guard hairs and leaves the downy undercoat which is a wonderful light cinnamon color.
Presently, Cunnington Farms only has two Guanacos, a mom and her daughter. Their fleece is for sale every 1-2 years.
Guanaco has a micron count average of 16 – 19 and .75 - 1.5 inches staple length. The raw fiber is skirted, de haired, but not washed. The yarn is a blend of merino sheep fiber and guanaco fiber. It is picked, washed, carded, and spun by hand.