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Feature Friday #7

Happy Friday,everyone!  Hopefully our US friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving, while our international friends are enjoying a peaceful Friday.

We are hosting our Annual Open Barn/Holiday Shop this entire weekend, so we’ve been out giving tours and hosting shoppers in the farm store.  While I was in the farm store I noticed one of our family’s favorite products, but until today  I never thought to showcase them because they aren’t made from alpaca. They were just so pretty with the Christmas lights reflecting in them and up against the pine walls of the store.

 

Our hand etched glassware features alpacas. We offer wine glasses in clear, and colored glass; beer steins ( with a pair of socks included for a ready made gift !) ; candle holders; and lighted glass bricks.  All are handmade right here on the farm.  Our selection is constantly changing and evolving and we are happy to do custom orders.  If you would like to purchase any of our glassware, please contact us via email for current availability and pricing, or stop by the farmstore.

Happy Friday y’all 💚

Categories: Alpaca, Arts & Crafts, Feature Friday, fiber, Media, Pick TN, Products, Sale, Shop, Shop local, Shop Small | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Feature Friday #6

Feature Friday this week will showcase an annual event here on the farm.

Red Party Christmas Festive Facebook Event Cover (1)Ready_Made_Social_Post_Image_V1

Each year ,we open our gates the weekend following Thanksgiving.  We are happy to host our Annual Open Barn/Holiday Shop November 23-25th from 11 am- 4 pm each day.  The farm store will be open for holiday shopping, and the barn will be open to meet the alpacas!

Make plans to come by, visit with the alpacas, and get your holiday shopping done!

Categories: Alpaca, Arts & Crafts, Crochet, Feature Friday, fiber, Knitting, Media, Pick TN, Products, Sale, Shop, Shop local, Shop Small, weaving, yarn | Leave a comment

Feature Friday # 5

We’ve showcased fiber, and we’ve showcased a few of our favorite products, so this week we are showcasing one of our newest products:

ADOPT AN ALPACA

Our newest product launched November 1st- just in time for the holidays.  If you’ve ever wanted an alpaca, but you don’t have the room or the time for a herd- you can adopt a member of our herd!  

There are three “adoption” levels that offer varying degrees of sponsorship. Your payment of support does not constitute ownership of the animal but entitles you to exclusive benefits.

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For all the details of our Adopt an Alpaca program, and to pick your “adoptee” click HERE

 

Categories: Alpaca, Feature Friday, Media, Pick TN, Products, Sale, Shop, Shop local, Shop Small | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Feature Friday!

This week it is all about the FIBER!  

If you have ever visited us on the farm, in our store, or at an event, you know we love to talk fiber, so in this Feature Friday let’s talk about the star of the show: Alpaca Fiber.

We hear it all the time and at every event- “What’s so great about alpaca fiber?”  Sometimes you might hear us answer, “what’s NOT great about alpaca fiber?”

Alpaca fiber has been called “The Fiber of the Gods”, as it was traditionally reserved for wear by royalty only in the Inca culture. It is soft, luxurious and sustainable; truly a fiber fit for a king.

In all truth, alpaca fiber has some amazing qualities.  Let’s break those down.

Warmth:

Alpaca fiber is warm! According to Yocum-McCall:

“In the Yocum-McCall Testing Laboratories, alpaca was shown to be three times warmer than sheep’s wool. Why? One reason is that alpaca is more heavily medullated: in other words, there are tiny hollow areas in the centers of many individual alpaca fibers. These areas hold the warmth and, in addition, make alpaca lighter in weight than other animal fibers. Another study showed that if worn in a 0 degree F environment, alpaca would give a 50 degree F comfort range. Sheep’s wool would provide a 30 degree F comfort range in the same environment.”

 

Strong:

Fiber strength is defined in two ways

  • Tensile strength: the resistance of a material to breaking under tension (force is applied parallel to fabric – Think holes in suits due to pressure being applied parallel to the fabric)
    • The tensile strength of alpaca is equal to 50 N/ktex  In comparison, the tensile strength of sheep’s wool is 35-40 N/ktex
  • Shear strength : the ability of a material to resist external load against failure (force is applied perpendicular to fabric -Think holes in socks, due to repeated pressure applied perpendicular to the fabric)

Alpaca fiber excels in both areas! Which leads us to our next category.

Durable:

Alpaca is extremely durable and low pilling.  Alpaca is able to meet 15,000 cycles of abrasion, which meets upholstery standard.

Durable fabric lasts longer!  Alpaca fiber will hold up to repeated wearing better, and still look great.

Water Resistant:

One of the greatest characteristics of alpaca is its ability to be naturally water resistant, no special treatments required!  The alpaca fiber is also excellent at wicking moisture, with a water retention rate of 8% vs. most other wool at 16%-20%.

Wool is more likely to become heavy and saturated when wet, as it can absorb up to 35-50% of its weight in liquid.  After this saturation occurs, which can lead to increased discomfort, odor, and the likely hood of blisters.

According to the Gaston Fiber College, alpaca wicks, but does not absorb.  That makes alpaca more comfortable in ALL seasons.  Warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer.  It also makes alpaca fiber naturally odor resistant.

Water resistance also leads to STAIN resistance!  Alpaca fiber is less likely to stain because of the unique qualities of the fiber itself.

Fire Retardant:

Yep.  You read that right.  Alpaca is naturally fiber retardant, meeting the standards of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s rigid testing specifications as a Class 1 fiber for use in clothing and furnishings. (Class 1 is the safest level for flame resistance.) Alpaca self extinguishes, and will not melt or stick to skin during a fire.

 Colors:

Alpaca comes in a wide range of natural colors, more than another other fiber animal out there  In the US, there are 16 officially recognized colors (white; beige; and  3 shades of fawn , 3 of brown,  2 of black, and 6 of grey) and a multitude of shades in between.

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If you would like a color not found naturally, alpaca readily accepts dye without losing the luster and brightness it is known for.

Low Allergenic:

  • Alpaca is naturally lanolin free.
    • Some people who where believed to be allergic to wools were allergic to lanolin.  Others have been found allergic to the chemicals used to remove lanolin from the wool, and not the wool or lanolin itself.
  • The “prickle factor,” where thick and/or hollow fibers of around 30 microns can prick the skin, causing rashes, discomfort, and other reactions, thereby making some wools very uncomfortable to wear.
    •   Some people who were believed to be allergic to lanolin, were instead reacting to the “prickle factor.”

Although some people who feel they cannot wear wool find that they can wear alpaca comfortably, there is not enough evidence to substantiate a claim that alpaca is hypoallergenic.  Alpaca is low-allergenic.

 

Now that you have the low down on some of  what makes alpaca fiber so great, make plans to visit us to see the fiber in person!  We’d be happy to show you how we go from barn to yarn, and everything in between.

 

 

 

Categories: Alpaca, Arts & Crafts, Basics, Feature Friday, fiber, Pick TN, Products, Sale, Shop, Shop local, Shop Small, yarn | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Feature Friday!

One of the things we learned during this year’s National Alpaca Farm Days, is that as an industry, we haven’t done a great job at highlighting WHY alpaca fiber is so wonderful, and what uses there are for it.  To remedy this, we’ve decided to start Feature Friday!

Every Friday, we will feature either a product or a fiber fact to showcase how versatile alpaca is and just what we do with all that fiber!

Today we are kicking off with one of our top selling , but also one of our most overlooked products:

Dryer Balls 1

While they may not look like much, we’ve had customers tell us these are “life changing”!

What are they? Alpaca Dryer Balls!  These lowly little items are cost effective, efficient, sustainable, renewable,  all natural, and best of all, they WORK!

One package of 100% alpaca dryer balls:

  • Reduce drying time by absorbing the moisture from your laundry
  • Provide a natural alternative to chemical filled dryer sheet or fabric softener
  • 100% Alpaca – hard felted and hand made
  • Great for sensitive skin/babies
  • Reduces wrinkles, static, and helps collect lint
  • Can add 4-5 drops of essential oils for scent. Oils last approx. 4 loads

Alpaca dryer balls can also save wear and tear on your dryer and clothing!  Conventional dryer sheets deposit a quaternary ammonium salt or a silicone oil based fabric softener. The heat of the dryer softens the fabric softener and allows the coating to transfer to fabrics. It is this coating that makes clothes feel softer to the touch.  This coating can reduce the moisture absorbing ability of cotton or micofiber towels, and the moisture wicking ability of athletic wear.

Just as the dryer sheets leave a residue on your clothing that makes the fabric feel softer, they also leave residue in your dryer. Their residue may cause the screen of the lint filter to become partially clogged or the electronic moisture sensor to be coated with residue and  reduce air circulation. Good circulation is essential to getting clothes dried properly and helping to prevent overheating,  which can lead to fires.

Alpaca dryer balls are easy to use!

No need to remove, just re use again and again.

Fiber is Forever!  Dryer balls can last years!

Washable, just add to wash load, then dry (recommended for first use)

Naturally dry along with laundry

These are just a few of the reasons we love our alpaca dryer balls!  Want more information on our dryer balls?  Want to purchase a set for your self or as a gift?  Send us an email at rockingchairfarmalpacas@gmail.com or come by the farm store!  We’d be happy to help you decide!

 

 

 

Categories: Alpaca, Arts & Crafts, Basics, Feature Friday, Pick TN, Products, Sale, Shop | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and love is in the air!  We love what we do, and we love our customers!  To celebrate we are offering a special discount for all of our customers through Feb 14th.  Shop online HERE and use the code: BEMINE for 14% off your order.  You can also shop here on the farm if you would like, just call to schedule an appointment.

If you are still looking for a unique gift for that extra special someone, choose alpaca!

Categories: Alpaca, Arts & Crafts, Crochet, Knitting, Media, Pick TN, Sale, Shop, yarn | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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