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Suri is silky and lustrous, and these qualities can be attributed to the structure of Suri at the microscopic level.  All animal fibers are made up of cortical cells in the center core of the fiber with scales similar to a fish on the outside. These scales hug one another closely. The photos to the right are electron micrographs- photos taken with an electron microscope. The top photo is of a merino sheep fiber. Note that the fiber is not smooth and the frequency or number of scales. The next fiber is cashmere. Its scale edges protrude from the fiber more than the merino. Finally, in the photo of the Suri fiber, you can see the that the scales are longer and barely protrude from the fiber. This structure gives Suri that silky hand and allows it to reflect light better than most animal fibers.

In other animal fibers, including the huacaya alpaca, the cortex has two halves that have different consistencies. Without getting too technical, this causes the fiber to twist as it grows and causes the fiber to crimp or form a zig zag pattern. Suris have a different cortex structure. In Suris, the fiber's cortical cells are spaced randomly, so there is no crimp in Suri, so the fibers are straight.

While we may not be able to feel the individual scales, we can feel how the fibers interact with one another as they slip and slide in a group. Suri fiber generally has longer scales and those scales hug the cortex more closely than what is generally seen in other animal fibers. These longer scales combined with a scale height that is almost indiscernible under the microscope allow light to reflect evenly thus giving  Suri a beautiful luster.

So when using Suri keep in mind the  special qualities that make Suri Simply Stunning:

  • As a straight fiber, Suri yarn has less loft, making it perfect for projects where you want distinctive stiches to show and less thickness of the resulting textile.
  • The straightness of Suri makes knitted or crocheted  projects made from it more drapey and less bulky.
  • The longer staple length makes fingering and lace weight yarns stronger than those made with other animal fibers.
  • The lower scale height and longer scales make the fibers less "grippy" so they often require a little more twist to spin into yarn.
  • Suri's longer fiber makes spinning easier and worsted yarn strong and lustrous
  • Suri not only takes dye well, but its lustrous sheen enhances the effects of dyes.
  • The luster and silky hand are wonderful in woven products
  • Suri fiber has been proven in testing to be stronger than other animal fibers of the same micron.
  • Suri is water resistant, making spills easy to clean up before water saturates the fiber.
  • Suri is free of lanolin, which reduces the need for higher water temperatures or harsh chemicals.
  • Suri has a high natural thermal conductivity, but can also “breathe” due to its lighter weight by volume.
  • Suri can slowly wick away perspiration making it feel lighter than wool, but warmer than cotton, in cool, damp conditions.
  • Suri offers a high degree of luster when compared with other natural fibers. 

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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