Alpaca yarns to be spun

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A GATHERING of industry personnel, livestock, products and more will return to Deloraine Showgrounds next month for National Alpaca Week.

A selection of Northern Tasmanian breeders, including Deloraine's Lyn Coitka, will share their passion for the South American camelids at the second Deloraine Alpaca Expo.

Alpaca shearing and fleece spinning demonstrations will be just some of the many activities to be held at the grounds on Saturday and Sunday, April 5 and 6.

Whether they are viewed as cuddly pets, a delicious meal or a growing set of lightweight winter gear, Ms Coitka said there would be information about anything and everything to do with the intriguing animals.

``They tip-graze, share a communal dung pile _ that's very good for worm resistance _ and the thermal quality of their fleece is much higher than wool,'' she said yesterday.

``I can give people information right from when they first get alpacas.

``Whether they just have a couple of pets for lawn mowers, go right into the commercial side of it, or just have a small amount for themselves as a spinner or a weaver.''

For Ms Coitka, it was the friendly and inquisitive nature of alpacas that first caught her attention.

``I liked just how cute and cuddly they were,'' she said.

For information on the expo, call Ken Manning on 63622343.

FACT FILE

WHAT: Deloraine Alpaca Expo.

WHERE: Quamby Pavilion, Deloraine Showgrounds.

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, April 5 and 6.

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