Farm Models & North American Paco-Vicuña End Uses

End Uses and Sales Channels

The luxurious fiber of the North American Paco-Vicuña is suitable for use in many fine products,
especially garments that come into close contact with one’s skin, including scarves, shawls, stoles,
dresses, hats, fine mittens & gloves, sweaters, formal coats, blankets & throws, and more.
When looking at deriving income from fiber, you can sell raw fiber as individual fleeces to hand
spinners and fiber artists, create value-added products to sell on your own or through an
intermediary, and/or sell bulk fiber to designers or producers (as we are still a small breed and
lesser-known in the livestock fiber marketplace, this will require some diligence). Common physical
locations to sell raw fiber and value-added goods are fiber shows/fairs, yarn stores, farm stores,
and personal networking. Online marketing and sales can be built through Etsy, personal fiber
artist websites, your farm’s website, farm cooperatives, and of course, your listing as a member on
the North American Paco-Vicuña Association’s website, where the Association will happily link our
audience to your online sales outlet.
Once you’ve chosen a North American Paco-Vicuña farm business model to develop, you then
begin to build a livestock herd that fits that business model.

Wild Vicuña on Chile’s Altiplano plateau
Source: Credit: pvdberg /

Rebreed Farm Models

A rebreed farm is only focused on producing fiber and, therefore, primarily breeds its North
American Paco-Vicuña to expand its herd while only occasionally providing a limited number of
animals to other farmers. A rebreed farm’s goal should be to grow its North American Paco-
Vicuña herd so that its fiber is as uniform as possible in grade and color.
Uniformity for a rebreed farm cuts down on time spent preparing the herd’s fiber for sale, while
allowing more time to produce uniform, larger amounts of fiber to sell in commercially viable bulk
quantities, or to produce enough fiber from which the farm itself can create a specific and
repeatable product line and/or brand.

Seedstock and Smaller Farm Model

Smaller farm models that focus on seedstock, rescue animals, or hand-spinner’s herd, will likely
have – and readily tolerate – a greater variation in fiber characteristics than a rebreed farm
would. If your North American Paco-Vicuña herd is so small that it can’t produce a large enough
fiber batch to meet a mill’s minimum processing/intake amount and you aren’t interested in hand
processing for value-added products, you have to explore more creative options to sell your
fiber. Maybe your fiber characteristics match those of another farm and that farm is interested in
pooling fibers from multiple farms to create a mill-ready batch. Or maybe if your animals maintain
micron diameter and staple length from year to year – and if you can wait a few years – you could
save multiple years’ shorn fleeces from the same animal(s) until you have a mill-ready amount. If
you have several animals that are the same fiber grade, but different colors, you could creatively
blend a heathered yarn as ‘color of the year’ or you could blend the North American Paco-Vicuña
fiber with different types of fiber, like silk or qiviut, which would help stretch your supply.
Remember that whether your fiber is ultimately processed by hand or in a mill, a thinner yarn takes
longer to produce, but also brings out the luxurious aspects of the fiber, while stretching your
supply further. Because North American Paco-Vicuña fiber has excellent insulating characteristics,
even a lightweight North American Paco-Vicuña garment will still keep one toasty warm.