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Barnett's Creek Farm

Small Farm Charm

How to prepare for an AOA Spin Off



You will need:


       A skirting table.

       Alpaca Prime Blanket, preferably noodled.


       Credit Card or Small piece of stiff cardboard

       Postage Scale with bowl or basket for weighing

       1 Gallon Zip Lock Bag

       A copy of the ARI Certificate for the Alpaca entered in the Spin Off   

       A color photo, no larger than 4 x 6, of the alpaca, preferably in full fleece.

       A copy of the registration for the show

       Fleece tag from the show registration site.

READ the AOA Show manual section on Spin Offs under Fleece Shows !


1.        Spread your blanket out on the table, cut side up.

2.        Examine the blanket for a prime location to pull a sample.  Fleece should be AT LEAST 3” per AOA Show Book.

3.        Select a sample of fiber from the prime section of the blanket. This would be the center of the side of the alpaca where you would

         take a fiber sample from for a histogram.

4.        Select a relatively large area of the fiber using your best judgment of between 2 – 3 ounces.

       Once you have done this several times you will get to know the amount you need based on the density of your alpaca.

5.        Tare your scale. 

a.        Place a bowl or basket on the scale. This will be used to hold the fiber. 

b.        Turn the scale and then push the Tare button.  The scale should set to zero.

6.        Place the fiber you have selected into the basket or bowl.  Make sure you have AT LEAST 2.5 oz

7.        Check for any second cuts or nubs from the shearing. 

a.        Gather the sample together and hold tightly in your fist.   Cut side between thumb and forefinger.

b.        Take the credit card and “swipe” it several times across the cut end of the fibers.

        Firm enough to loosen any nubs but not pull the fibers up.

c.        Grab another section and repeat.  DO NOT separate from the bundle. Keep sample together as best you can during this process.

8.        Place your sample in the 1 Gallon Bag.

9.        Weigh the sample on your postal scale.  Make sure you have between 2 -3 ounces of fiber.

        Over 3 Ounces is not encouraged, fewer than 2 or over 4 will get you point deductions. 

10.     Remove the sample from the bag and clean it of all vegetable matter.

a.        Grab the sample by the cut end, holding it tightly; shake it and pat it with your other hand to remove loose dirt and debris.

       Bounce it on your table a few times until most of the dust and dirt is gone..  Again, keeping the sample together as best you can.

b.        Put the sample on your table, cut side up. Carefully open the bundles and using the tweezers, remove any debris that is left.

       Be careful not to disrupt the structure of the fleece, lock structure and bundling.

c.        Flip the sample over and repeat step b.

d.        Keep flipping and cleaning until you are satisfied with cleanliness of the sample. 

11.     Carefully arrange the sample into it’s natural shape.  Gather it into your fist and insert it into the 1 gallon zip lock bag. 

       If your bag has a white box for writing, put the outside of the fiber (the dirty side) to that side of the bag.

       Remember your sample will be graded on First Impression  5 Points  So you want the clean pretty side to show the most !

12.     Insert your 4 x 6 photo and Fleece Tag on the dirty side of the fiber inside the bag.

13.     Compress the fiber if needed to fit into your shipping container.  Zip the bag closed. 


14.     Make sure your shipping container is large enough to accommodate your ARI certificate UNFOLDED.

       You can roll them up and secure with a small piece of tape or paper clip.  The Medium size flat rate USPS Priority boxes are exactly  

        the same size as the ARI.  They will hold up to 6 -8 samples if you compress them enough.

15.     Place your ARI certificates, Samples, Payment (if paying by check) and a copy of your registration forms into the shipping container.  Address the container and put it in the mail so that it is post marked BEFORE the deadline.

          Wait for the show !  Your samples and Ribbons will be mailed back to you, if you requested / paid for that. 

         Most arrive within 2 weeks after the show date. 


 Author: Marjorie Phipps ~  Barnett’s Creek Farm, LLC ~ Liberty, KY