Paul Hetherington  – 28th September 2021

28 September 2021     British Alpaca Society     BAS Board

Since my last blog life has become even more exciting than it was before. I’ve been introduced to the world of noodling.

This all came about when Barbara was asked to judge a fleece show in Germany. As this journey involved getting on planes and trains, I was taken along to ensure Barbara didn’t end up in Poland by mistake!

The fleece show was in Thuringia, a province in the former East Germany. The terrain was fairly flat which in some way accounted for the fact that the temperature dropped to minus 26 degrees last winter and rose to 45 degrees this summer. Cumbrian weather doesn’t seem so bad after all! The architecture was interesting with lots of wood framed buildings built around courtyards – very medieval.

Life seemed more traditional and relaxed than in the UK. Our hosts lived in a house built in the 1930’s where all the surrounding houses had enough land for a vegetable plot and a few chickens. They made their own jam but more importantly had a few grape vines and made their own wine! Their small herd of alpacas could access the neighbour’s gardens through a network of gates to offer a free lawn mower and fertiliser service.

Anyway, back to the noodling. This is the process where the fleece to be judged is rolled up by the exhibiter in a sheet or similar. The fleece is put cut side up and once unrolled it is ready for judging without the show organiser needing to spend any time organising it.

The idea is that all the exhibiters use the same type of sheet so all the fleeces can be weighed still wrapped up and be comparable. After judging the fleece is rolled back up in the sheet and is ready to be presented again at its next show.

Apparently, the best bit of all is that none of the dirt from the fleece falls on the judge’s shoes!

This does seem like a good way of managing and presenting fleece – what do you think?