Clearly the contaminant has no value. But it is worst than that, heavily
contaminated fleeces waste the classer’s time and require additional
processing to try and remove high levels of vegetable matter. In many
cases it is just not cost effective so the contaminated fibre is best
consigned to the rubbish bin.
Some of the fleece contaminants that cause us problems are:
Fleece in poly bags: Fleece have been sent in poly feed bags with
feed still in the bottom of the bag when the fleece was put in.
The feed can be difficult to separate from the fleece.
Old poly bags break down and small pieces of the poly bag break up.
These small pieces of poly are very difficult to separate from the
fibre, break up further during textile processing and can cause problems
all the way to the finished product.
Vegetable Matter: Sticks, leaves, stones, hay, straw,
grass & grass seed. - Probably the worst VM contamination that we see
is created by people who shear their animals on the ground. Please, if
you don't have a shearing shed at least buy a tarp and shear on that.
Hoof Trimmings: In most sectors of the fleece industry it is a big no no
to trim hooves on the shearing board, yet we repeatedly find hoof
trimmings, even in some of the best presented clips. Hoof trimming on
the shearing board is frowned upon in other sectors of the fibre
Industry for good reason. The hoof trimmings become very hard as they
dry out, so hard that they are capable of causing serious damage to
textile machinery as they attempt to pass through the textile processing line.
Was the bag meant to contain fibre or straw? We have no need for straw!
Come on guys, the Alpaca is a great fleece producing animal with a great future, be serious.