Toft Alpacas is the prize-winning alpaca herd and stud established in 1997 which is based in the hamlet of Toft near the village of Dunchurch, in North East Warwickshire. The Toft Alpaca herd now comprises of over one hundred and fifty alpacas, and is an active alpaca stud specialising in Accoyo blood lines and breeding Best Browns.
Toft Alpacas offers quality fleece growers as pet alpacas for those with smallholdings looking to to enhance their paddocks with these charming grass-eaters.
Toft Alpacas has been very active in the British alpaca industry over the last ten years, importing and exporting alpacas in its commitment to breeding improved quality fleeces. Although the textile brand 'Toft' takes its name from the original herd, we now purchase fleeces from breeders across the UK. If anyone would like to get in touch with regards to animal purchase or training then contact Shirley Bettinson on 01788 810626.
See TOFT ALPACA STUD
Toft is dedicated to getting as many people knitting as possible through an extensive knitting workshop programme and a full range of online knitting help.
With our designs we aim to appeal to the newbie knitter learning their knit and purl for the first time whilst also developing more advanced patterns for experienced and dedicated crafters.
At Toft Alpaca Shop we have a wealth of beginner knitting kits to help you as you learn to knit and each product states the 'SKILL LEVEL' so grab your knitting needles, select a beginner pattern and learn how to cast on and beyond!
Toft craft workshops are conducted in this relaxed and picturesque rural Midlands location surrounded by fields of alpacas. Come and escape for the day…
Toft Studio is a short hop from the M40 and M1, and we can also offer Self Catering and B & B accommodation at walking distance from the farm for those who want to make a weekend of it.
All craft workshops will now be hosted in the newly completed Toft Studio building. A bright and spacious barn conversion at Toft Manor, Dunchurch, Warwickshire CV22 6NR. This new space will enable us to extend our education programme and also offer a wider range of craft events such as Open Days and afternoons with drop in help clinics for knitters. We hope to get a Toft knitters group going later in 2012. To keep up to date with developments and receive offers and discounts join our MAILING LIST.
We are now pleased to offer both walks and talks and specially tailored learn to knit or learn to crochet afternoons for small groups of up to 50 people. Please CONTACT US for details.
Toft Manor Cottage is located on farm at Toft Manor, Dunchurch, Warwickshire. A gorgeous self-catering two double bedroom stable conversion situated at the top of a valley overlooking Draycote Water Reservoir. The Cottage boasts disabled access and secure parking and is in a perfect location to explore Warwickshire with historic sightseeing, countryside walking and great shopping nearby.
Come and stay on Toft Alpaca stud farm and meet the growers of our luxury yarns. From April through to September is the birthing season with dozens of 'Bambi' moments to see. In 2012 we have over forty cria due.
Add your accomodation for any workshop from £30 per person per night. CONTACT US to book.
See TOFT MANOR COTTAGE
In order to sustain the product range and level of business that The Toft Alpaca Shop now attracts we are buying in fleeces from other alpaca owners across the UK. This year Toft will need to process a massive quantity of British alpaca fleece to maintain the current collection of knitting yarns, kits and accessories. In 2011 we developed our range of yarns to include blends using 50% British wool and 20% nylon. In 2012 we will continue to expand our range of alpaca yarns by introducing further fibre combinations such as silk, tencel and rare breeds British sheep. To enquire about selling us your fleeces (whether you have two animals or two hundred animals!) please contact us for the fleece purchase agreement and prices.
We purchase both Huacaya and Suri British alpaca fleeces in all colours. The breeder receives individual feedback on each animal's fleece sold to Toft and we can offer the opportunity to trace your fleece through our processing and buy back yarn from the batches your herd has contributed to.
From the offset The Toft Alpaca Shop has been dedicated to British eco-conscious processing. All of our handknitted yarns for retail are spun in the UK. Eco-yarns and locally sourced knitting projects are proving extremely popular, with large brands now releasing their own 'green knitting' collections. At The Toft Alpaca Shop we do not carry one environmentally conscious yarn line, rather ALL of our yarn and products are ecologically and ethically sound. All of our UK products are made in 100% natural British alpaca, undergoing minimum contact with chemical processing. Our hand knitting collection is powered by our team of wonderful knitters, working from home across Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire. These ladies are so dedicated to Toft they have been known to work through the night to ensure an order is out for a special Birthday or Christmas gift! At Toft we have always adopted a policy of not putting pressure on any of our craftspeople in order to ensure the highest standard of work- some ladies knit dozens of handbags a week and others a few hats every month. Our made in the UK socks range are knitted at a local family run business in Leicestershire.
Alongside our British Alpaca range we also stock a British designed selection of Peruvian alpaca fur products. When working with Peru we have been careful to ensure that we are working with fair trade importers. We work with companies who employ a team of in-house knitters and also work with independent often family businesses or small co-operatives, carefully managing to ensure fair rates of pay and suitable working conditions. Our collection is created by collaboration projects between us and small knitting groups in South America. Working conditions, wages and workload expectations are continually monitored with all of our knitters to ensure we are fairly trading with Peru, and this maintains our high quality production. We are determined not to support alpacas being killed for their skins, and thus all of teddy bears, slippers and pom poms are made from the pelts of animals which have died from natural causes. As a consequence the availability and variability in the stock across our range can be very different subject to obtainability.
The Toft Alpaca Shop was born in September 2006, a product of the successful and established Toft Alpaca Stud farm upon which Kerry Lord had grown up.
Kerry says, "Sitting in a James Joyce seminar in the last term of my degree, I desperately clung onto a scrap of a sentence I had at least some chance of selling my intellect on: Councillor Nannetti's alpaca jacket. On completion of my finals I made a somewhat sheepish return back to Toft (colander and pot plant in hand) to be thrown back into the midst of shearing week and my enforced enlistment as 'broom girl'. One hundred and fifty fleeces later and the barn, garage, and what was formerly my bedroom were bursting with fluffy crimpy softness. Sleepy eyed and unthinkingly inquisitive I boldly asked; 'so what exactly are we doing with all this fibre?' Five years on, amidst the dust and spit and toenail clippings, I now take great joy in seeing the fleeces roll off the backs of the animals at shearing time. I now have a concrete idea of what every fleece will become within that season’s collection even before the alpaca's had time to feel the sun warming their freshly exposed unmentionables.
Every piece of fibre from the Toft herd is now processed within the UK and sold as knitting yarns or ready to wear knitwear. I very early on made the decision to take advantage of the natural colour spectrum of the alpaca and in doing so have earned status as a green producer as Toft products are 100% natural and British. The Toft Alpaca Shop now attracts a diverse stream of shoppers, both craftspeople and fashionistas alike. ToftAlpacaShop.co.uk is building a faithful knitting and eco blogger following and frequently returning custom. I never thought that I would be deferring dreams of Dublin libraries, in exchange for casting on, K2tog and sewing; trying to make (and most importantly sell) that perfect alpaca jacket."