Klein Limietrivier Farm, nestled between mountains and vineyards and just an hour’s drive from Cape Town, is home to Quenti Alpaca & Mill. We moved to this, a dilapidated little farm in 2010 and set about putting up fences, clearing alien trees and restoring the 300-year-old house and cottage. We had just 12 alpacas at the time, imported from Chile. Our herd is our pride and joy and we look forward to the spring and autumn birthing seasons with excitement and anticipation. Seeing strong healthy cria, with dense crimpy fibre prancing in the paddocks, is an enormous and constant pleasure.
Our alpaca have a wonderful life – calm surroundings, plenty of high-quality feed and grazing, a carefully designed vaccination program and gentle, respectful handling. Early spring is our shearing season and it’s always exciting to see volumes of long luxurious fleece and to anticipate the gorgeous yarns we will make. We had planned on processing our fibre by hand but as the herd grew, this became less and less viable and we couldn’t make yarn fine enough or in sufficient quantity. So began our quest for affordable industrial equipment.
Little did we realize just how complex it is to make fine yarn nor how naive we were. Despite lots and lots of difficulties, we have learned to not only operate our industrial machines but we make fabulous yarn and can accomplish most maintenance now too.