WRAP YOUR HOME IN ALPACA FIBER INSULATION!
The lab work is finally in!
NOT A BLEND - 100% ALPACA FIBER
Alpaca Fiber Insulation Company of Ohio is often recognized in the media. Here are summaries of our latest accomplishments.
On a tiny farm north of Minerva, Alicia Rocco’s alpacas jostled for breakfast, their inquisitive muzzles pressed through the barn gate.
“They are nosey animals,” said Rocco, owner of Alpaca Spring Valley Farm. She walked into the feeding area. Rosebud, Abercrombie, Ice Princess and the rest of the herd craned their necks.
Rocco bought her first alpaca about nine years ago. She now has 21 animals that she breeds and raises for their soft coats of chocolate, cinnamon, cream and gray fiber. The annual shearing is later this month.
“When you shave them, they look like my German shepherd ... with long necks,” said Rocco’s sister and farm manager, Norma Prosser.
Garment makers weave the softest alpaca fiber into hats, gloves and sweaters. Coarser fiber usually gets made into rugs, but “you can only make so many rugs,” said Rocco, who has spent the last year developing a new use for the coarse fiber: Building insulation.
The batts of alpaca insulation were gray and brown, like rusty steel wool, but much softer and without the prickliness of fiberglass.
“Actually, the insulation is so soft the cats and dogs love laying in it,” Rocco said.
She incorporated the Alpaca Fiber Insulation Company of Ohio last month. The 65-year-old entrepreneur also runs the farm and Natural Approach to Health, a store that sells herbal remedies. All three businesses are located on Whitacre Avenue SE.
Alpaca fiber is warm, resists burning and wicks away moisture, according to the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association.
Each alpaca yields anywhere from 8 to 12 pounds of fiber when sheared, Rocco explained. Forty percent of the fiber comes from the belly, legs and neck, and is too coarse for clothing.
After the fiber is cleaned and disinfected, an Ohio mill turns it into insulation. The fiber also will be treated to deter insects, but not with toxic chemicals.
“Our goal is to do it as natural as possible,” she said.
A lab is testing the alpaca fiber batts to establish their R-value, a measure of insulating effectiveness. Rocco said the price of her alpaca insulation should be similar to that of insulation made from denim scraps. Recycled cotton insulation generally costs 15 to 20 percent more than commonly used fiberglass, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Rocco said she planned to start marketing her new product to contractors by the end of the month, and eventually wanted to make blown-in insulation from a blend of alpaca fiber and wool.
“Some people who are building a house really want to go green,” she said.
Alpaca fiber isn’t a mainstream insulation material, but there are experimenters around the world.
Alpaca breeder Maggie Sewell and her late partner, Brian Kitson, used a blend of alpaca, wool and polyester to insulate their home in Geraldine, New Zealand.
The blend has performed well in the steel house, where insulation was very important for acoustic and heating and cooling reasons, Sewell wrote in an email exchange. “ ... We got a lot of satisfaction from collecting our otherwise unusable coarser fleece from our animals, and putting it to good use.”
Basing an alpaca-based company in Ohio, thousands of miles from the animal’s native South America, might seem strange, but the state is a center for breeding the animals.
The Ohio Alpaca Breeders Association claims the state has the most alpacas and alpaca farms in the country; the 2007 federal Census of Agriculture listed Ohio’s herd of 10,677 alpacas second to Washington’s 13,140.
But breeding and selling alpacas isn’t as profitable as it used to be, said association president Lorilee Fish.
Ten years ago, an alpaca was worth $12,000. Today, with more animals available, prices have dropped to between $8,500 and $10,000.
“You’ve got to find other areas to make money,” Fish said.
Selling fiber is one way. Raw soft fiber for yarn sells for $38 to $48 a pound, although it is more profitable to make and sell finished garments, she said.
“There’s just endless things you can do with the fiber, but insulation is interesting,” said Fish, who was unfamiliar with Rocco’s venture.
The coarser fiber that Rocco is using for insulation sells for about $2 to $3 a pound, and if there isn’t enough from domestic farms, she can get it from South America, she said. “We’re not going to run out of fiber.”
Reach Shane at 330-580-8338 or on Twitter: @shooverREP
HOW DID WE FIND THE "R" VALUE?
First a little history! We happen to have a shipping room
that was somewhat cold in the winter. After storing alpaca fiber during our
2013 winter we noticed how much warmer the room became. So we decided that we
needed to finally check out the R Value. We had discussed for over 2 years that
we needed to find something more to do than make rugs with fiber that was not
being used to make clothing. Insulation had come up as a topic of one of the
things we could use it for.
So we had our fiber tested at a lab and what came back was a
real surprise. Due to the fact I am not real versed in how to read lab reports
I questioned what I was reading. I knew
to ask the fiber mill manufacturer I had chosen to help me since she was an electrical
engineer by trade and since changed careers to working with fiber, her love
I think she was as surprised as were. We sent 3 samples to
compare. Of course we concluded we knew what to do with that fiber MAKE
We since have installed insulation in our new home so our
next news will be comparing utility bills.
As President of this company our goal is to create wonderful
customers and friends for life.
Go Green with Natural Fiber Insulation from Alpaca Fiber
Insulation Company of Ohio in Minerva, Ohio
We’ve recently discovered one
of the most interesting ways to go green right here in Northeast Ohio! It’s a
surprising addition to the list of all things eco-friendly known as natural
fiber insulation. Natural builders in the US and Canada confirm the use of
animal fibers that most of us would call fur to insulate homes and businesses. Beyond
the absence of byproducts typical to man-made insulation (think fiberglass),
animal fiber makes for hypoallergenic fire retardant insulation. And a local
company based in Stark County, Ohio - Alpaca Fiber Insulation Company of Ohio -
is producing a high quality variation on its Alpaca farm in Minerva, Ohio!
Please don’t think you’re the
only one surprised to learn of natural fiber insulation. Granted there are
sources like Green Home Building that have been exploring the category for
quite some time. Most of us might never have thought of using shearings for
everything from making homes more energy efficient to soundproofing music
studios. But natural fiber insulation is growing in use for these reasons and
more! In fact, here are benefits exclusive to the Alpaca fiber insulation from
the Alpaca Fiber Insulation Company of Ohio.
Alpaca Natural Fiber
Hypoallergenic & itch-free
Allows for the use of less utilities
Keeps structures warm in the winter & cool
in the summer
Composed entirely of Alpaca fiber and therefore
Available in aray of sizes/dimensions/thickness which allows for varied usage
Fire retardant insulation as Alpaca fiber does
not burn but tends to put itself out when set on fire
Moisture wicking as Alpaca fiber will hold eight
times its weight in moisture before becoming soaked
The composition alone ranks
this product high among all ways to go green. And should you visit the Alpaca
farm in Minerva that the leaders of Alpaca Fiber Insulation Company of Ohio own
and operate, you might well consider this product to be equal parts eco-friendly
and animal friendly. That’s because the team behind this natural insulation is
not new to Alpacas or Stark County, for that matter.
Instead, they have roots in
Northeast Ohio and a solid customer base for their original Alpaca goods
available at Natural Approach Farm Store. Patrons of this quaint store have
long enjoyed picking out Alpaca sweaters, hats, gloves, and rugs among other
things. And most also enjoy seeing the naturally pleasant Alpacas frolicking
about the farm.
You can see them for yourself
today! Simply stop by Natural Approach Farm Store in Stark County, Ohio. While
at the farm, you can also see and feel samples of the Alpaca natural fiber
insulation and shop the other exquisite Alpaca items. You can also talk to
staff members and learn more benefits specific to this hypoallergenic fire
retardant insulation. Decide to make this one of your ways to go green at your
home or business in Northeast Ohio, and you can place your order before you go.
For more information go to www.alpacainsulation.com
or call 330-705-6170.
Alpaca Spring Valley Farm branches out
Readmore at http://www.morningagclips.com/index.php?cID=7419#.U4XkXIfktfV
Minerva, OH - Locally owned Alpaca Spring Valley Farm announced today that it will be branching out to a much larger market with new products effective immediately. Alpaca Spring Valley Farm expects this new company Alpaca Fiber Insulation Company of Ohio and the products to improve investor confidence and widen its customer base. In addition to selling and boarding alpacas, and selling raw material items Alpaca Fiber Insulation Company of Ohio will now sell insulation manufactured from alpaca fiber. The new company formation will permit Alpaca Fiber Insulation Company of Ohio to sell Green ECO friendly all natural insulation across the entire United States.
About Alpaca Fiber Insulation Company of Ohio
Alpaca Fiber Insulation Company of Ohio first opened online in February 2014 and is owned by Alicia Rocco. Alpaca Fiber Insulation Company of Ohio will uphold its promise to stimulate the local economy. Known for its all natural 100% Green ECO friendly products and sustainability, the company also intends to maintain its commitment to environmentally friendly business practices. For more information, please visit http://www.alpacainsulation.com/.
About Alpaca Spring Valley Farm
Alpaca Spring Valley Farm is a Minerva-OH based alpaca farm. It specializes in being an all-natural Alpaca farm. We offer Birthing, Rehab and Boarding services for your alpacas. We also offer workshops for alpaca farmers and those considering starting up their own alpaca farm. For more information, please visit http://www.alpacaspringvalley.com/.