A fiber animal's coat is usually trimmed once a year. The fiber is then washed and processed. It is commonly spun into yarn and woven into textiles.
There are over 1,000 breeds of sheep spanning the globe. Most of these produce wool fiber. Wool fiber comes in a variety of natural colors. Texture varies from course to very fine depending on the breed. Finer wools are used for clothing while course wools are used for rugs and durable items. To learn more about sheep visit the Sheep 101 site.
The soft coat of the alpaca is also used for making yarns and textiles. There are two breeds of alpaca, the Huacaya and Suri, with over twenty natural colors between them. These gentle animals originated in South America and have become popular worldwide. To learn more about alpaca visit the Alpaca 101 site.
Other Fiber Animals
Many other animals are provide fiber including Angora goats and rabbits, llamas, vicuna, camels and even buffalo. Some people have saved their cat or dog fur for spinning yarn as well. For more information on different types of fiber visit The Felting & Fiber Studio's fiber information page.