For those not initiated to the alpaca world, let me state that grey alpacas are, in general, less "evolved" than whites and fawns when it comes to fiber. According to some loose data compiled by Ian Watt, by the year 2011, roughly 35% of 12 - 36 month old white alpaca fiber was under 20 microns. By contrast, only 18% of rose grey and 16% of silver grey 12 - 36 month old alpaca fiber was under 20 microns. This is not even taking into account fiber crimp, brightness, organization and density.
Many (about 16-18%, apparently) greys do rival the lights in terms of fiber statistics, and all of our grey boys are among them. However, when it comes to grey alpacas, you often wind up having to choose between crimp and fineness. There are still only a small handful of greys in the country that can compete with the light colors in terms of both fiber statistics and character (that sweet combination of traits that, when ideally configured, can earn an animal the coveted, yet undefined title of "elite fleece").
I am pretty pleased with the greys we have here, and in only a year or two, I hope to be producing animals in that latter category (the rare and outstanding "elite grey").
Note that by some standards, our greys are elite already. My standards are such that I reserve the word for animals whose "eliteness" is indisputable -- even though the word isn't defined, so really, anything you want can be considered "elite" if you define it right. Because I am so strict with my use of the word, I actually only have a few whites and fawns that I feel qualify. At the 2014 Parade of Champions auction, only a handful of animals qualified for "elite" status by my standards (just to give you a sense of how damn fussy I am about that word).
With that blather over with -- here are my grey fiber shots.
This is the fourth fleece of Stillwater Island's Avalanche. Avi's fleece is very dense, bright, and high-frequency, though, at age four, she has lost a lot of organization. The most exciting thing about this girl is that she is lavender. I want a whole herd of alpacas that are this color.