Thursday, 21 April 2011

Alpaca Parade


(Click on picture to enlarge it)
Well, I wondered how long it would be before Saltaire adopted the idea of painted creatures. Skipton, as reported on my blog some while ago, had their sheep. Now Saltaire has alpacas - and not only painted ones; we had real ones too. I adore them - such lovely woolly things and they have gentle, pretty faces.  I think they can be a bit vicious and spit if not well-handled but these three seemed quite docile and contented. ( I'm afraid I didn't take proper notice of the farm they came from, sorry!)

They were all gathered for an 'Alpaca Parade' on Monday to celebrate World Heritage Day.  Without alpacas, Saltaire probably wouldn't exist. It's a well-known story that Titus Salt, on a business trip to Liverpool one day in 1836, was intrigued by a some bales of wool from Peru, gathering dust in a warehouse. He took a sample of the 'useless' material, that no-one else wanted, back to Bradford and set about working out how it could be washed, combed and spun.  He and his team discovered that, by combining alpaca weft with a cotton or silk warp, a durable, light, lustrous cloth could be produced at reasonable cost, eminently suitable for the fashions of the day.  From that innovation, it's fair to say, Titus Salt made his fortune.

12 comments:

  1. The alpacas seem so cute!
    I've seen painted bears in Berlin, and painted cows in France and Monaco;What next?!

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  2. You always dig up the most interesting historical stories about your town. I love alpacas too. We met a pet one on a station out west. He was just like the brown one in your picture and his name was "Chocklate"

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  3. We went to see dragons in Newport last year but we missed the Skipton sheep. How long are your alpaca there for? It would be a great excuse to take a trip up to Saltaire this weekend!

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  4. Alpacas are so cool! There is a field full of them just down the road from Mark's campus. I must take a photo next time I go up.

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  5. That brown one looks especially soft!
    Yes we have Mars bars here in Canada - one of my favourites.

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  6. I'm not sure I've ever seen alpacas as close up as your photos show them. They look cozy and comfy and one might think it would be fun to cuddle them, but as you indicate, that is probably not a good idea!

    I think ol' Titus was certainly worth his salt in terms of alpacas!

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  7. I am glad you explained the Titus Salt connection to alpacas. Otherwise, I was completely confused about why Saltaire would celebrate with painted alpacas. Have fun at this celebration.

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  8. I must admit, I've never really thought about alpacas.... these ones are adorable looking.
    I was in Bath when the place was overrun with pigs and had a great time trying to find them all.

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  9. Looks like a nice, fun and colorful event!:)


    Gunn / Norway

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  10. Alpacas are so cute! Great mosaic.

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