Greetings from Whispirit!
It All Started With Our Alpacas
Whispirit is the felted alpaca product line we began from our Whispering Spirit Alpacas Ranch in New Mexico. We had fallen in love with alpacas and their amazing, soft, strong and colorful fiber. Why? Because these USA alpacas, with the intentional feeding and breeding programs, produce a worthy fiber that rivals that of the traditional South American alpaca fibers.
About ten years ago we began to create fabrics that startle people. Most fiber lovers believe they know what to expect when they are told that a fabric is felted. It is bulky. Yet ours is sheer, drapey, so unexpectedly light weight. The secret? The fabric is made by needlefelting a sheer silk or cotton gauze with a cobweb like batt of alpaca. We do this, without any water, using our mechanized FeltLOOM. This mechanized needling machine was designed, patented and produced by an ingenious farming couple in Kentucky. The FeltLOOM’s over 900 barbed needles push and pull natural fibers into a solid piece of durable, lightweight cloth.
Several years ago we phased out of the animal part of our business, rehoming our herd. And a year ago, we relocated Sandy’s fiber studio, Lee’s art studio and all our personal possessions back east to Phippsburg ME. Retirement has prompted Lee to focus on abstract paintings. Sandy still makes fabric and very limited editions of felted hand crafted and sewn garments. Sandy’s felted wearable art creations are exclusively sold at Handwoven Originals in Santa Fe and Markings Gallery in Bath, Maine.