All our creative apparel is designed and produced right here in our cottage industry.
Each creation is totally and utterly NZ made, NZ designed, from NZ owned animals right here on the property at Karisma Animal Companions where our garments are handcrafted from our own alpaca fleeces.
With this process Miriam is learning and understanding the high quality of fibre produced by the Karisma alpacas.
This is the ultimate in true cottage industry where everything is handcrafted by a local team and the product is taken through all its stages right here at home, from the breeding and raising of the animals with the best fleeces to suit the requirements of the industry, to shearing the fleece, hand-spinning the wool, processing it in-house, (Miriam's carding machine is specially set up for the specific requirements of alpaca wool) to actually designing each exclusive garment around the particular properties of the fleece being used to create it.
It works this way - As Miriam handles the fleece she assesses its particular individual properties - she lets the fleece "speak" to her and it tells her how to spin it and what kind of finished product each different fleece will best yield to produce a garment with life and originality. Garment design is thus influenced by the fibre itself, by Miriam's own inspiration and often also by skilled creative input from other team members. Much of the knitting is passed around these few skilled and highly valued local craftswomen belonging to the exclusive human team at Karisma Animal Companions. The hand-checking and the final finishing flourishes are often the work of Miriam herself.
Miriam blends the fleeces together to create a range of beautiful natural shades as there is often no need to use dyes with fleeces of such rich natural colour.
So her garments are the true "Living Fleece" You need only compare a commercially produced garment with one from Karisma, using both your sense of touch and your sense of vision, to understand that hers are the garments with the "living feel".