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der Bauernhof Farms
Ellsworth, Illinois, United States

Why do you read Alpaca Culture?
My initial perception of Alpaca Culture, from the very first issue, was that here is a magazine that is interested in and supports the alpaca fiber industry. Since its beginning, each issue has been a wealth of information on all aspects of the fiber end of the business and is an ongoing resource for us and our customers and those who work for us about the benefits of alpaca fiber over any other natural or synthetic fiber.

What articles have you enjoyed in the past?
Understanding and appreciating alpaca as a luxury fiber product is an educational process, so many of the articles that we have really enjoyed are those that raise fiber awareness. While we understand the value of alpaca, it is always beneficial for us to have documentation that supports our sales pitch. We have a select group of Alpaca Culture articles that are required reading for college interns that work with us to learn the fiber business, and as additional information for artisans who work with us to create our clothing designs. We also provide this information to our customers and to galleries that sell our wearable art as it assists them in educating their customers on the value and unique benefits of owning alpaca fiber clothing.

We are in the process of refreshing our 5 Miles East brand, and a recent article on hang tags in Alpaca Culture hit the spot perfectly for us and our graphic designers to provide hang tags that were appropriate for our customer and our product.

What is your favorite type of article?
No industry or business has the time or the luxury of resting on its laurels, so our favorite articles focus on where the industry is going or what cutting-edge designers are doing to constantly improve the market for alpaca fiber products. These types of articles encourage us to be more creative with our products and to initiate more unique marketing approaches with our own business.

The following reading list of Alpaca Culture articles is required every semester for the Family and Consumer Sciences course interns at Illinois State University.

  • “What’s So Great About Alpaca Fiber” by Meyla Bianco Johnston. September 2012
  • “Perspectives: Supply Chain” Quality Designation. September 2012
  • “Fiber Producing Animals.” September 2012
  • “Overview of Processing,” Chapter 10 excerpt from A Definitive Guide to Alpaca Fibre by Cameron Holt. September 2013
  • Designer Profile: Beatriz Canedo Patiño. September 2013
  • “Fiber Fusion: All About Alpaca Blends” by Meyla Bianco Johnston. September 2013
  • “EPD Program” by Darby Vannier, [Former] Executive Director of Alpaca Registry, Inc. September 2013
  • Illustration Focus: An Introduction to Alpaca Worsted, Semi-Worsted and Woolen Yarns.” September 2013
  • “Why Your Next Sweater Should be Alpaca, Not Cashmere” by Jenni Avins. Re-printed with permission from Quartz. September 2014
  • Illustration: “Softness Sensation on a Microscopic Level” by Jared Johnston. June 2015
  • “Bringing the First Commercial De-Hairer to the United States” by Meyla Bianco Johnston. June 2015
  • “The Importance of Classing and Sorting in Alpaca Fiber” by Cameron Holt. March 2016

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