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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 December, 2003, 11:47 GMT
Couple spin golden fleece
There are 10 alpacas on the farm
An alpaca is not an animal normally associated with Wales but one couple are hoping the strange breed will spin them a fortune.

The animal, which is a cousin to the llama and camel, has its is origins in South America and can be traced back 6,000 years, when their fleeces were prized by the Inca civilisation in the Andes.

Michael and Celia Berry from Bodfari, Denbighshire have set up a small business spinning alpaca fleece into wool.

Following a 35,000 grant from the Welsh assembly the couple are creating a new mini-mill at their small holding where they currently keep 10 alpacas.

"They are extremely sweet and fluffy and have great big eyes," said Mrs Berry.

"The fleece is gorgeous, fine and really silky.


"In terms of luxury it is comparable to cashmere but stronger so you can spin it much finer and make really hard wearing clothes."

Alpacas were first imported to the United States in 1984 and are now being raised throughout North America, New Zealand and many European countries.

The fibre from alpacas is of such a high quality, it was once reserved for Incan royalty.

Each animal produces three kilos of fleece and as well as spinning fibre from their own alpacas, they will also provide a service for other owners.

Anyone with bags of fleece can send it to the Denbighshire farm where they can pay for it to be processed into alpaca wool.

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13 May 03  |  Cambridgeshire
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30 Jul 02  |  Asia-Pacific
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01 Jul 02  |  England

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