Alpaca wool can be valued in many ways, depending on the market the farmer or producer is selling to. Actual prices are also influenced by fleece quality and quantity, color, gender, wool type, geographic location, and supply and demand.
So how much does alpaca wool sell for? Let’s look at the key factors that influence alpaca wool price and dive deeper into the specific cost for each type.
How Much Does Alpaca Wool Sell For?
The actual price of alpaca wool depends on a wide variety of factors. Generally, well-conformed alpacas with superior fleece characteristics sell for higher prices.
Raw fiber is calculated in pounds, and here is its price range:
- Raw fleece: $0 – $10/pound
- Skirted and sorted: $1 – $28/pound
- Roving & Batts: $50 – $75/pound
- Yarn: $100 – $150/pound
Processed fiber is calculated in oz, and here is its price range:
- Washed and dried flee: $4/oz
- Carded fleece: $6/oz
- Carded with embellishments: $8/oz
What Determines Alpaca Wool Cost?
There are sixteen basic solid colors of alpacas with various shades in between. So you can expect to find more than 22 identified fiber colors and color variations of alpaca wool on the worldwide fiber market.
White alpacas are the rarest and their wool is the most expensive that can be obtained. Since white fleece can be easily dyed and has excellent characteristics, it comes at the highest price among all available colors.
Age has a significant impact on the quality of alpaca fiber. The younger the animals, the longer their fiber is. The diameter of the fiber is also smaller in young animals and coarser in older ones. These details affect the comfort factor, which will eventually affect the selling cost.
Normally the best fiber is from cria (baby alpaca). However, this term can be confusing because a cria may be genetically coarse-haired and have guard hair. Therefore, even though it is a baby alpaca, their fleece is not qualified as baby alpaca.
By the same logic, some older alpacas with genetically fine fiber might continue to produce the finest alpaca fiber quality for several years.
Suri and Huacaya are two main alpaca breeds. The Suri is rare, and there are usually only 2 Suries among 100 Huacayas.
The Huacaya alpaca breed produces short wool, whereas the Suri alpaca breed has longer wool. The fiber of the Suri alpaca is more expensive than the wool made from Huacaya alpacas.
Vicuna is a wild alpaca breed, weighs about 45 kilos, and does not exceed 80 cm in height. It is believed to produce the most precious wool, and many Hollywood stars love to wear clothing made from Vicuna wool.
This breed’s fiber is loved for its warmth and fineness. However, a vicuna only produces 200 grams of fiber every three years, which can be the reason for its steep price.
Also, since the population of these animals was considerably reduced in the last few decades, their wool has become rare and expensive. One kilo of unprocessed vicuna fiber costs up to $500.
How much you can earn from selling alpaca wool would depend on its quality, the alpaca gender, breed, and where the farmers or producers sell it. As with any other type of wool, the better the animals are taken care of, the better its wool quality is, and the higher its price is.