Alpaca

Vermont Alpaca Farms

Alpacas: Camels of the Northeast Thrive in Vermont

el-cabildo2Alpaca scarfs, alpaca mittens, and more are just a few of the items made in Vermont from alpaca.  Even if you’re prepared, your first glimpse of a Vermont alpaca is going to pleasantly unsettle you, and no explanation is going to help for at least a little while.

If you think that what you’re looking at is a cross between a sheep and a giraffe you will be forgiven. Ask us about VT Alpaca Farms or share comments. To feature your business, contact us.

Vermont Alpaca Farms



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In fact, few creatures are more at home in the northeast than the alpaca. Originally from the Andes, the alpaca goes into winter blanketed with as much as seven pounds of the finest fleece on earth and watches the coldest, clearest February nights pass by with relative indifference. So would you if you had a coat like that. Of course, you can get a coat like that, or what you need to make one: Terry Miller, owner of Snowshoe Farm in Peacham, Vermont will sell you some wonderful Vermont products – like an alpaca fleece or other alpaca products. But be prepared to pony up some serious dollars-fabrics made from alpaca fleece are among the most coveted in the world. A sweater will go for over $250, and a scarf for about $65.

Once thought of as animal uncomfortable at heights under 10,000 feet, the book on this member of the camel family has been re-written; alpacas are quite happy at the sub-3,000 elevations common in northern New England.

Twenty years ago, there were several million alpacas, nearly all in the mountains of Peru – and none in the United States. Today, there are over ninety alpaca farms in the northern United States, with at least thirty in Vermont; most of them are registered, including Miller’s. (There are many smaller operations with herds of a dozen or less.)

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Registration is a very good idea: an alpaca with proven bloodlines showing excellent fleece quality can be worth as much as a nice Lexus. Miller began her adventure with alpacas in 1996, on a farm in Hartland. “We had a house that was surrounded by open pasture and we had to do something to keep it that way. We thought about getting a tractor or sheep and then we saw an ad for alpacas. We were intrigued and began researching the animals.

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“I had not worked for a number of years and was looking for some kind of home business. The alpaca industry in this country was young and growing and it seemed very exciting. I have always had an interest in fiber arts and had just learned to spin and knit. Everything just came together for us, I had the time, we had the land and we had some money to invest. Snowshoe farm was born and we have not regretted it for a minute since.”

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Alpacas make sense in Vermont for several reasons: They don’t mind the cold; they’ll eat just about anything, and they offer a viable lifestyle similar to that of the small, rural farm almost absent in twenty-first-century Vermont. Alpacas are happy with hay or pretty much anything they can find on the range in the warmer months. They demand minimal pasture, and, according to several sources, ride happily in the back of your family van, should you be so disposed.

Golden Retrievers of the camel family, alpacas are sociable and good-tempered unless they are greatly annoyed; then they become more like junkyard dogs and show their displeasure by spitting. (They lack upper teeth, and have unique lips that make this possible.)

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Until recently, the Andean llama (a close relative of the alpaca) was to the Peruvian what the buffalo once was to the Plains Indian: nothing was wasted. Besides the many uses of the fleece, the meat was eaten, the hides used to fashion footwear, the tallow in candle making, and the dried excrement used as fuel.
peacockThe alpaca, with its abundance of high-quality fleece, was, perhaps, treated with more respect. (In fact, the Incas considered the alpaca to be a divine gift.) While the llamas at lower elevations were being slaughtered by Pizarro’s troops 500 years ago, the alpacas retreated to much greater heights, where the Spanish were loath to go. So, the alpaca’s tolerance to warmer weather may have been misconstrued.

Alpacas have been called “the world’s finest livestock investment.” Obviously, it is difficult to compare alpacas with other securities. Unlike the stock market, alpacas are depreciable over five years, giving the investor an immediate investment return in tax savings while his herd is growing.

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Buying your own alpacas is a major investment since registered animals go from $5,000 to $30,000. Miller’s herd represents a layout of more than $200,000. Her alpacas are insured and treated much the same as other hard capital in that they depreciate over time. In addition, every expense associated with your alpaca – from the barn to the computer- can be written off come tax time.

If you’ve got some cash in a stagnant mutual fund, or quietly aging in precious metals, your best bet might be to buy a bred female and board it at your local alpaca farm -for instance, Snowshoe Farm, which will charge you two dollars a day. If you become the lucky owner of a fine “infant” -known as a cria- your options multiply. Should you do nothing but shear their coats, you can expect about $420 in fleece. So in terms of fleece alone, your animals will never pay for themselves.

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The real money is made by selling bred females, offering the best males as studs (c. $ 2,000), and then harvesting the fleece. Theoretically, one can recover one’s investment in two years; in fact, not every cria has the perfect balance of appearance (conformance), fiber quality, and, shall we say in regard to the males, joie de vivre. Most of the larger alpaca retailers offer payment plans that will help get you into the game.

So, if your portfolio is top-heavy with stocks and bonds, you might want to consider an alpaca, which in a perfect world can pay for itself in two years. Besides, what other investment can you literally wear and snuggle up to simultaneously?

– Chris Dunlap

ALPACA SCARFS

  • Our high quality scarves are imported directly from Arequipa, Peru. Arequipa is an Andean city that is renowned for its alpaca wool. Pure baby alpaca wool clothing is a sought-after product for visitors to Peru. Visitors often bring home baby alpaca products for their friends and families.
  • This luxury scarf is a 100% Baby Alpaca Wool. Baby alpaca wool is a unique material that is remarkably soft, light, and warm. Each scarf measures 70” x 12” inches. The perfect size to keep you warm and comfortable during the cold winter months.
  • Baby alpaca wool is a natural fiber that has many advantages. It is a versatile product that is lightweight, as well as both incredibly warm and breathable. Furthermore, it is known to be an exceptionally soft and durable material. Customers find our scarves a terrific accessory for any occasion.
  • A baby alpaca scarf is a superb gift for both men and women. A fashionable and stylish selection that friends and family will love. Many buyers give the gift of a 100% baby alpaca wool scarf for birthdays, holidays, and any other special occasion.
  • To maintain the best product quality and longest life this product requires dry cleaning only
  • Our luxurious herringbone scarf is sure to become a versatile addition to any wardrobe. A classic style in all natural, timeless neutrals or fresh modern color sure to chase the chill away.
  • Highest Quality - Certified 100% pure Baby Alpaca by the International Alpaca Association. Tightly woven this scarf will provide the best of alpaca's unique thermal warmth.
  • Classic sizing - 72in X 12in with 3 inches of hand rolled fringe - perfect for wrapping around the neck multiple times or tying for a traditional scarf look.
  • Sustainable, fairly sourced & environmentally friendly, the baby alpaca wool is shorn from the animals once a year with the greatest of care, a necessary part of maintaining good animal health.
  • Dry Cleaning recommended for longest life, however due to the nature of alpaca minimal cleaning is needed.
  • Bundle up in cozy style this season with this double sided Contrast baby alpaca wool scarf, certified pure by the International Alpaca Association, assures you the finest of alpaca scarves.
  • Beautifully woven from 100% pure Baby Alpaca it measures 71in X 12 in including fringe. Go ahead, wrap it, tie it, enjoy it!
  • Naturally thermal, warm & cozy - perfect for whatever weather finds you. Rain, snow, sleet, they won't damage or water spot this scarff & NO wet sheep smell either!
  • Sustainable, fairly sourced & environmentally friendly - baby alpaca wool is shorn from the animals once a year with the greatest of care, a necessary part of maintaining good animal health.
  • Dry Cleaning recommended for longest life, however due to the nature of alpaca, minimal cleaning is needed.
  • Luxuriously Soft Scarf for Men and Women - Our classic winter scarf collection is made exclusively from pure premium Peruvian Baby Alpaca fiber. Ultra-soft and durable, each beautiful scarf is made to the highest standards, looks incredibly classy and has silky natural fibers that will keep you warm all winter long!
  • Incredibly Warm and Cozy – Our soft scarf are softer, warmer, and stronger then sheep’s wool. Thanks to its microscopic air pockets, this long scarf feels super light but is extremely insulating. So, you stay warm and dry during the cold season. True Alpaca fiber also features a naturally occurring Teflon-like coating that resists dirt and liquids which means it’ll stay beautiful and clean all season long with minimal cleaning.
  • No Lanolin, No Itch – Alpaca fiber does not contain lanolin which is the allergen in sheep’s wool (and what makes sheep wool itchy). Because of the lack of lanolin, Alpaca fiber is completely hypoallergenic which makes it the perfect scarf for those with skin sensitivities. Our Warm scarf is simply the best option out there and will last your whole life.
  • Ethically Sourced and Produced - Our nice and soft scarves for men and women are ethically sourced from Peru. Unlike sheep, alpacas have a lower impact on the environment because their hooves are softly padded and they only have a single row of upper teeth. The result is that they are much gentler on the landscape and don’t have the same destructive tendencies as cashmere and other fleece animals. Our alpacas are shorn once-per-year and in the summer season.
  • Your Greener and More Economical Choice – We are a small family-run business and really care about our products and customers. The pure baby alpaca scarves in our collection are produced in limited quantities. It is the greenest and most sustainable fiber produced. That is why our scarves for women and men are simply the best, coziest, longest lasting, and most popular around!
  • 89% Alpaca for incredible softness and 11% Polyamide used to maintain shape and sizing
  • Affordable luxury made in Ireland by Mucros Weavers in County Kerry
  • Perfectly sized at 10.5 inches wide by 72 inches long plus 3 inches of fringing on each end
  • Five incredible color blends inspired by the fusion of hues seen in nature
  • High quality Irish product made one at a time in the Killarney National Forest
  • Genuine Alpaca Wool Handmade in Ecuador
  • Fair Trade Artisanal Collection
  • One Size: 63" Long x 8" Wide
  • Care: Machine wash on gentle cycle, or hand wash. Air dry.
  • The softest and warmest wool you've ever seen. You have to feel it! In Tinkuy Peru we care that our clothes are soft, comfortable, warm and durable; that's why we use a special blend of 100% high quality alpaca wool
  • Alpaca wool is Hypoallergenic and the dyes that are used to obtain the colors are natural
  • A Perfect Complement for a Formal or Casual Outfit
  • Design for men or women; unisex style
  • Made with a high quality blend of Alpaca and wool, 100% made in Peru by our artisans. The properties that mark the quality and benefit of the use of this combination are: Products for each season, Balance between cost and quality, Greater comfort and Better dimensional stability.
  • Made of Pure Authentic 100% Baby Alpaca Wool
  • Woven Unisex Scarf
  • Solid color, perfect for any occasion
  • Product Dimensions: Scarf: 65" x 12.5"
  • By Alpaca Warehouse, made in Peru
  • Authentic: an original NOVICA artisan handcrafted fair trade product.
  • Certified: comes with an official NOVICA Story Card certifying quality & authenticity.
  • NOVICA works with Alfredo Falcon to craft this item.
  • Exceptional Quality: crafted with care to be treasured as a keepsake for many years to come.
  • Product info: 45% acrylic, 40% alpaca, 15% wool
  • MATERIAL: Alpaca Wool. Alpaca wool is hypoallergenic, light and warm. Its fibers contain microscopic air bags that make the garments light and delicate while acting as excellent insulators. Luxury feel. Alpaca provides the softness of cashmere; luster of silk; lightness of feathers; warmth of wool.
  • WARM & SOFT: It will surely keep you warm on cold winter days. You will find that natural materials really beat the cold.
  • UNIQUE: This product is 100% handmade. Black Scarf with horizontal stripes in off white. it displays llamas design, typical from Peru
  • APPROX. SIZE: Length: 55.11"
  • BRAND: Gamboa Genuine Alpaca: Alpaca fashion to warm people around the world. Designed and manufactured in Peru. Resulting from a combination between fashion and tradition, our products are characterized by their exclusive designs and our focus on quality.
  • NATURAL ☼ This article is woven of nothing but pure baby alpaca wool and is not blended with any artificial or lower-cost materials.
  • TOP QUALITY ☼ One of the world's finest natural fibers, alpaca wool is warmer and lighter than sheep's wool, durable, hypoallergenic, and wrinkle and odor resistant. Baby alpaca wool is an extra-fine grade comparable in fineness to cashmere.
  • GENTLE ☼ Alpaca fiber does not pick or scratch like the wool of other animals and is appropriate for use by babies and those with sensitive skin.
  • AUTHENTIC ☼ This article was crafted by hand in South America and every purchase supports families of artisans living in the Andes mountains.
  • ETHICAL ☼ No animals were harmed during the manufacture of this product and the item was crafted under fair conditions.
  • VERSATILE ☼ Wear this garment as a normal scarf, push the end in on itself to make a pocket and use it as a hat or hand warmer, or wrap around the face for use as a mask
  • TOP QUALITY ☼ One of the world's finest natural fibers, alpaca wool is warmer and lighter than sheep's wool, durable, hypoallergenic, and wrinkle and odor resistant. Baby alpaca wool is an extra-fine grade comparable in fineness to cashmere.
  • GENTLE ☼ Alpaca fiber does not pick or scratch like the wool of other animals and is appropriate for use by babies and those with sensitive skin.
  • AUTHENTIC ☼ This article was crafted by hand in South America and every purchase supports families of artisans living in the Andes mountains.
  • ETHICAL ☼ No animals were harmed during the manufacture of this product and the item was crafted under fair conditions.
  • Made by Mucros Weavers in Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland
  • 100% Alpaca
  • Dry Clean Only
  • Length is 77"(including fringe) and width measures 12.5"
  • Soft Breathable Moisture Control Fibers
  • Arch Compression Support and Stability
  • Ventilation Channels Enhance Air Flow
  • Durable Reinforced Heel and Toe
  • Fabric content may vary by color
  • 50% Cotton, 50% Polyester
  • 10.5-ounce, 50% cotton/50% polyester blend, midweight
  • Attached hood
  • Machine wash cold - like colors
  • Imported.If your chest and/or waist measurement falls between sizes, buy the larger sizes
  • Loose Fit t-shirts are cut larger with a roomier fit in the chest and shoulders
  • Loose Fit, previously known as Original Fit, is a label update in name only. Loose and Original size and fit remains the same. Stock may vary in labeling
  • Previous Product Name: K87 Workwear Pocket Short-Sleeve T-shirt
  • A jean built to comfortably withstand the toughest working conditions, this sanded and garment washed 100 percent cotton duck jean provides broken-in comfort from day one with a stylishly distressed look and non-binding relaxed straight leg fit
  • These comfortable jeans feature a roomy seat and thigh with a straight leg that fits over boots; Keep the tools of your trade close at hand with the hammer loop on left leg and dual tool pockets on right. The waist is rigid and will not expand. If this is your first time trying this jean, we recommend ordering up one waist size if in doubt about the waist fitting too snug.
  • Button closure
  • The world's leading performance workwear brand, Dickies has been making quality workwear and apparel since 1922; All Dickies clothing offers superior craftsmanship and unmatched value to deliver classic style and long-lasting comfort every day
  • We make jeans, outerwear, school and work uniforms, sports shirts, kids wear, hats, socks, underwear, boots, gloves, belts, eyewear, backpacks, bags and much more
  • 100% acrylic rib-knit blend
  • One size fits all
  • Size 6" x 6"
  • Ribbed-knit Daily beanie hat featuring Neff logo patch
  • Our top selling Daily beanies are warm, comfortable, stylish and fun
  • Available in a wide assortment of colors
  • Ultra soft beanie keeps your head feeling cozy with enough breathability for warmer days
  • Hand wash for best results
  • Insulated work glove featuring logo across knuckles, nose wipe, and wrist strap with barrel-lock adjuster
  • Moisture-wicking lining
  • Storm Defender waterproof breathable protection
  • MAKE A WARM STATEMENT: Super long 39 inch long cable knit leg warmers add warmth and comfort to any outfit on a cold day and look great when worn over tights, leggings and skinny jeans. Perfect for dancers or working out.
  • MAKES A GREAT GIFT: Makes a great gift idea for anyone that loves wearing leg warmers in your life! Perfect for birthdays, get-wells, stocking stuffers and more.
  • BLENDED FOR COMFORT: The custom blend of nylon and polyester makes these leg warmers breathable, soft, and incredibly comfortable. The high-quality construction means these leg warmers provide a great fit for all-day comfort.
  • THE PREMIER SOCK BRAND: For over 30 years, Foot Traffic has been committed to offer our customers on-trend creative designs, consistent quality, and great value. We are excited to bring colorful, functional and fun products to hundreds of boutiques and sock enthusiasts around the world.
  • UNBEATABLE SERVICE: At Foot Traffic, we want you to be happy. We will promptly exchange or refund any merchandise that does not completely satisfy you. Returns are accepted up to 60 days from the shipping date, and you will be reimbursed for the product according to your method of payment.
  • ESSENTIALS YOU’LL LOVE: This everyday knee-high sock has a top ribbed comfort band for a non-constricting, stay-up fit so you don’t have to worry about your socks slipping down.
  • EXPERIENCE THE COMFORT: Our obsession with breathability and softness is what makes HUE socks a notch above the rest; Don’t settle for socks with rough seams that irritate with every step and airflow-restricting material
  • MATCH YOUR PERSONALITY: Whether you like socks that go all the way to your knees, hug your shins, stay close to the ankle, or hide out of sight, you’ll find what you need from our collection; Pick extras and give anyone the gift of happy feet.
  • LASTING CONSTRUCTION: No more dealing with socks for women that rip on day one; No dealing with socks that lose their shape and softness after a few washe; Our casual socks are made of premium materials and with keen attention to detail.
  • DESIGNED IN THE USA: We’ve been at it for over 40 years now! Setting trends and spearheading innovation right in the USA; We’re all about turning the ordinary into the extraordinary, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome you into the family!
  • INSPIRED BY NATURE: Enjoy adventures even when it’s cold with the Icebreaker Merino Glove Liners! These unisex liner gloves for men and women are perfect for skiing, hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities when the weather starts to change.
  • READY FOR ANYTHING: Our wool gloves for men and women are made with 200GM Merino Wool jersey fabric, a renewable fiber that helps to naturally resist odor, lets your skin breathe, and keeps you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot.
  • ALL DAY COMFORT: Enhanced with a touch of LYCRA for a better fit, these are the perfect glove liners for cold weather for women and men! Our lightweight gloves have an enhanced dry time, and provide additional warmth under gloves when it’s cold.
  • EASY TO CLEAN WOOL GLOVES: These ski gloves for men and women are available in X-Small, Small, Medium, Large and X-Large. Our glove liner can be machine washed in warm water with like colors, and line dried in shade. Use a warm iron if needed.
  • ICEBREAKER MERINO: At Icebreaker Merino, we want to create relationships between people and nature, and our glove liners for cold weather for men and women are designed to provide natural performance with quality materials.


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