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  • Suri is a smooth protein fiber known for its luster, strength, and length.
  • Suri’s smooth surface allows the fibers to glide through your fingers requiring limited assistance while drafting.
  • Suri comes in a variety of staple lengths which means it can be spun worsted, woolen, or it can be used for boucles or tail spinning. 
  • Suri can be blended with a whole variety of fibers. It will enhance the final blend by adding drape, luster, and a smooth hand.


  • Suri spins thin! Due to its lack of crimp, 100% Suri is best spun as a fingering or lace weight yarn. 
  • If you are aiming for a thicker yarn, consider adding wool or standard alpaca to provide loft and a greater bloom to the finished product.
  • Suri’s standard, annual staple length of 4-5.5 inches suggests a worsted or semi-worsted preparation. This will maximize the luster and drape of your yarn! 
  • Suri does not have lanolin, but does have natural oils. Additionally, the animals enjoy a nice dust bath every few days during the warmer months! As such, consider picking and washing with a light detergent before spinning. For tail spinning, consider washing the individual locks to clear away the surface dirt and maximize the luster. 
  • Suri’s smooth surface can make the fiber feel softer and silkier than other fibers of a comparable micron. This allows the spinner to create a strong, yet soft and exquisite yarn. 
  • Suri takes a dye beautifully! If you enjoy dyeing your yarn, this is the fiber for you! Dye over white, or dye over the wide selection of natural colors that Suris produce.


  • Fibers are classed by micron. British cashmere is < 19 microns. Vicuna <14 microns.
  • Alpaca, including suri, includes a wide range of fineness and the fleece is classed accordingly.

The Suri Network, along with the Australians, the Canadians, and Peruvians class fibers as follows:
Grade #1,Suri Ultimate, <20 microns (μm),

Grade #2, Suri Superfine, 20 -22.9 μm,

Grade #3, Suri Classic, 23-25.9μm,

Grade # 4, 26-28.9μm.

Grade #5, 29-31.9μm, G6 32-35μm.

Classing or grading provides guidelines for sorting fiber into micron, color and staple length.
The fibers’ micron grade will determine how the yarn is used as well as its price.

Fine Suri, Grades #1 or #2 can be worn next to the skin, a Grade #3, if it is carefully sorted with few

fibers over 30, can make a comfortable garmentcoarser fiber is best used for rugs or felting.


  • Suri’s standard staple length is 4” to 5.5”. As such, Suri is most often prepared as worsted or semi-worsted. The fiber can then be spun into a standard yarn or a novelty yarn such as a boucle. - Younger animals can produce a longer staple length in the same 12-month period, ranging from 6” to 8”. Additionally, some animals are left in full fleece for up to 24 months, resulting in staple lengths far beyond 8”. These longer locks can be used for tail spinning, or can be combed for standard yarn. 
  • Older animals and the fiber from the necks of the animals are often 4” or shorter. This fiber can be prepared in a woolen fashion. You may consider preparing them into larger, loose rolags and spin using a supported long draw method.


  • Suri’s smooth surface may create some static electricity in dryer climates. Keeping a fine spray of water on hand will reduce this issue. 
  • While Suris have no lanolin, they do like to roll in the dirt! The advantage to washing the raw fiber is it keeps your carding cloth free of oils and dirt and results in a lustrous yarn right off the bobbin. However, the advantage to spinning unwashed, raw fleece is that it is easier to identify and remove individual locks to flick or card than to do so after washing. Choose the method you think you will be most comfortable with. 
  • Washing any fleece should be done with care to prevent felting, but with Suri, minimizing agitation keeps the longer fibers from tangling. Some prefer to soak and rinse fleeces several times. Others may remove locks carefully and wash them individually. Whatever your method, use a gentle soap to preserve the special characteristics of the fiber. 
  • Flicking the Suri locks allows the spinner to maintain the alignment of the fibers in the lock and allows the spinner to spin worsted. Holding onto one end of the lock firmly, you flick one end of the lock and then the other so that when finished, the lock has been opened and aligned. Any fibers that are left in the flicker can be used to spin woolen, or blended on the carder with other fiber for woolen yarn. 
  • If carding, keep in mind that fibers will be less aligned than if flicking and is better suited to woolen spinning. When using a drum carder, consider the staple length of the fiber. Locks longer than 5” may get wrapped around the carder and tear. 
  • Master Spinner Donna Rudd describes her technique for spinning: “When I draft a Suri lock, I pull a few fibers from the tip end slowly from the fiber supply about half the length of the lock before grasping another small amount of fiber from the lock to draft along with the first supply. 
  • As this length increases it gathers within my hand and forms a folded roving which is held safe and warm until all fibers are drafted and held within my hand in a long pencil type sliver. I then flip the fiber supply over to get the first tip end and start spinning from that end. The reason I draft from the tip end first with Suri only is because that part of the Suri will often be finer by a few microns than the cut end and it just enters the twist easier than a thicker cut butt end. Because the cuticle scales on Suri are very shallow and infrequent this does not seem to affect the draft at all (the opposite would be true with spinning wool...I would spin from the cut butt end to the tip of a staple)”. 
  • Note that the longer fibers of Suri allow for spinning fine yarn, but its silky nature may require slightly more twist. 
  • Donna Rudd describes her experience using Suri in novelty yarns: “I love spinning Suri for boucles! Suri makes big loops, small loops, wraps, spirals, tips and whips! Suri makes all types of boucles. Higher coarser grades of Suri make wonderful loopy boucle yarns with lots of volume, texture and its dyes like mohair into brilliant colors.  Another way I use Suri is in Novelty or Art yarn. Suri blended with a variety of fibers, colors, lengths and mixtures will give you an ‘Art Batt’ to die for and it is fun to spin until it is all gone.”

Suri blends well with other fibers. To guarantee that the added fiber does not compromise the final product, it is worth your while to source fiber as fine or finer than the Suri you are spinning. Fibers such as lyocell, bamboo and silk complement the luster in Suri without compromising the hand. Hackles work quite well to help blend Suri with other fibers.

Keep in mind that Suri is a straight fiber lacking crimp. Yarn made from it will not have the memory and loft that crimpy fibers provide. If you desire a loftier fiber with some elasticity and memory, then blending with fine merino top or another crimpy, but fine wool can provide that.

If you enjoy dyeing your handspun yarns, Suri takes dye very well and often looks even more lustrous coming out of the dyepot. In spite of its longer scales and shorter scale height, it can still felt and just like other natural fibers, Suri can be affected by harsh chemicals and too much heat.


There is nothing different about caring for Suri fiber from other natural protein fibers. Gentle shampoo or mild soaps created for woolens coupled with little agitation is excellent. Soaking in warm water for a time is excellent for removing dirt and oils. Be sure to rinse the yarn completely for soap residues can dull and attract dirt. If you are washing newly spun yarn, it may buckle slightly, so you might want to hang your skein with a weight to help straighten the yarn. Always avoid too much agitation or dramatic changes in the temperature of the wash water to prevent felting.

Suri is a beautiful, unique fiber with excellent qualities that make it a great addition to your projects by adding luster and a soft silky hand. When shopping for Suri, look for fleeces that are clean, lustrous, and cool to the touch, for these are the fleeces that show off the wonderful traits that make Suri such a special fiber. Avoid those that are drier and have a chalky feel. Be choosy and let spinning Suri take your projects to another realm!

Suri Network
Phone: (970) 586-5876
Fax: (970) 591-0007

P.O. Box 1984

Estes Park, Colorado

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Suri Network

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