Rumpelstiltskin is the name of the project developed to take the next step with processing suri fibre in New Zealand. It will take the valuable information learnt from the Surissimo fabric trial and produce a suri product from the commercial processing options available to us today.
Rumpelstiltskin is primarily Thistledown Suri Stud and Surico Alpaca, but will involve all suri breeders in New Zealand who want to take part by attending industry information days and by supplying fibre.
The first stage of the project is classing the NZ suri clip and securing the fibre that meets the specifications for the project. We will be purchasing suitable fibre for the project. There are classing and baling days planned for the North Island on 10th and 11th oNovember. A South Island day will follow on the 1st and 2nd of December.
The next stage will be processing, from scouring through to finished product. The completed product will be used for promoting suri and any profits will be used for continuing this research.
Finally, the Rumpelstiltskin Project will develop a preferential buyer model that breeders aspire to be producing for and can use as a marketing tool. All New Zealand suri growers will have the opportunity to be part of this to lead the industry forward.
Sustainable Farming Fund Grant
Rumpelstiltskin is very pleased to announce that we have received a small grant from the Sustainable Farming Fund to help with the project.
A big focus of the grant is to do with education and industry involvement, so the whole NZ suri industry will be getting the benefit of this.
Suri Fibre Classing & Baling Days
The first ever NZ suri fibre classing and baling days were held 10th and 11th November 2012 at Surico Alpaca in Rotorua and over a ton of suri fibre was collected and amalgamated into bales for sale and use in various suri processing trials.
The weekend was a fantastic success with great participation from suri breeders. A lot was learnt over the weekend about the impact of both management and breeding on the quality of fleece for processing.
We acknowledge that these may not be practical in all situations but should be worked on as best we can.
Fleece length; [we used 80-140mm required by processors]
Over long fleeces at first shear were problematic.Show animals left in fleece for longer than a year, only a small number in each herd.Timing of birthing, suri born before late autumn often are more likely to have overlong fleeces.Some suri grow fleece faster than others may need more than annual shearing.
Quality of shearing;
Shearer to have correct technique to avoid cutting into the next blow which creates more second cuts.Skirt out hairy legs and belly at shearing before being rolled up together and stored so it does not get all through the fleece.
Storage of fleece;
Fleeces in plastic bags away from light, heat & moths and vermin if long term.
Enough people for sorting and skirting fleece before storage, it is difficult to work out the different sections of the fleece after storage.Order of shearing important to avoid contamination of colours. Shear most important colour first.
Pre shearing herd management;
Clean paddocks.Take micron sample and test before shearing so information is available for sorting.
Of micron for handle.Of micron across the body for more usable fleece.Less hair [strong primaries within the fleece] for handle.
Of micron and uniformity of micron.Of uniformity across the body for more usable fleece.
eg We have 7 year old females who are raising cria and still retain low micron fleeces yielding good weights of usable fleece, this is a trend we want in our breeding program.
We will be writing a full report after the Canterbury Baling Weekend when we have more information available.