Nashville, Tenn. — June 18, 2018 — Karl and Jan Heinrich are known across the country for their herd of beautiful, award winning suri alpacas and for being leaders in alpaca fleece processing. Their reputation for producing beautiful, unique items from alpaca fleece is such that they were approached by the Country Music Awards and asked to provide designer scarves to be included in a package of locally sourced gifts given to each CMA presenter at the 2018 ceremony.
The Heinrichs first learned about alpacas in August of 2002 when they saw a commercial featuring the livestock. In October, they attended the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair to see alpacas first-hand and to learn more from individuals already in the business. In November, they purchased 4 female suri alpacas from 3 different farms. And Long Hollow Suri Alpacas was started.
Many aspects about the alpaca industry appealed to the Heinrichs. Alpacas are environmentally friendly and cruelty free. They wanted to raise livestock on their 5 acres but were looking for an alternative to traditional farming, which usually entails a one-way road trip for animals.
“Initially, I mainly thought they would be great help in keeping the front yard trimmed,” said Jan. “Soon, however, our passion for their fleece became our focus.”
“It is one thing to see a garment made from alpaca,” said Karl, “but when you touch it, it is incomparable. Whether cloth, yarn or knitware, huacaya and suri both provide a very unique sensation compared to other fibers.”
Their newfound passion for alpaca fleece became their life and in 2005, the Heinrichs became the owners of New Era Fiber, LLC. New Era Fiber specializes in processing huacaya and suri alpaca fleece into luxurious, eco-friendly yarn and garments. The soft and light feeling of their products is the result of their commitment to carefully managing every step of their manufacturing process to ensure product excellence while keeping the environment in mind.
At New Era Fiber, the Heinrichs process fleece not only from their alpacas but from alpacas throughout the U.S. They are now located on a 62-acre facility in Gallatin, TN.
Long Hollow Suri Alpacas/New Era Fiber are this year’s sponsor for the premiere natural fiber event of the year, the inaugural 2018 Alpaca Owners Association (AOA) Natural Fiber Extravaganza. The event is July 13-15 at the Wilson County Exposition Center in Lebanon, Tenn., and will feature:
- Dozens of vendors selling a variety of items, many all natural and local
- Alpaca Selfie Booth
- Spinning Demonstrations
- History of Spinning display
- Hands-on Workshops
- Knitting Classes
- Knitting gathering area
- Fleece, Fiber and Farm Seminars
- Livestock Business Seminars
- General Alpaca Seminars
- Photo Contest Display
- Student Design Competition Winners’ Display
- National Fleece Show
(Free to the public Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.)
“The Natural Fiber Extravaganza is another step forward toward the expansion of the alpaca industry,” said Karl. “This event links alpaca fleece with the rest of the natural fiber world.”
“We are presenting ourselves to the third largest fashion economy in the country,” added Jan. “It is going to be a win/win situation for all involved.”
Be sure to say hello to Karl and Jan at the event! New Era Fiber will have available yarn, shawls, capes and scarves, including the designer scarf received by presenters at the 2018 CMA.
Posted June 19, 2018
Source: Alpaca Owners Association (AOA)