Student Design Competition Announcement

18th North American Student Design Competition


Sponsored by Alpaca Owners Association, Inc.

Imagine one project enhancing your Spring Curriculum

Make plans to participate in the 18th Student Design Competition (SDC) sponsored by Alpaca Owners Association, Inc. (AOA). It’s not just a contest, it’s an experience. Over 200 North American college-level art and design schools are being contacted for their students to compete for the cash prizes, exciting professional development, and networking opportunities our awards bring.

The competition was created to promote the use of alpaca fiber in fashion, textile, and interior design at the fundamental level of educational institutions. The theme for this year is Alpaca: Sustainability, a new theme reflecting the benefits of alpaca.

Below is a description of what the AOA Student Design Competition can provide for your students:

  1. Students will broaden their horizons by learning about this friendly, gentle animal, and its precious fleece that has been used for thousands of years in luxury textiles and garments — fit for royalty! Alpacas are not harmed when their fleece is harvested. Alpacas are environmentally friendly livestock.
  2. There are two categories in the competition; fashion design and textile design. No garment construction is necessary, entries only require a presentation board, swatches, and a one-page essay. By following the guidelines for entries, students will have a portfolio-quality piece. Selected entries will be on display at the AOA National Education And Fiber Conference.
  3. The top three entries in each category will receive cash scholarships! Ribbons will be awarded to first through third-place entries in both the textile and fashion categories.
  4. The top three finalists in each category will be invited to be our virtual guests of honor during the AOA National Education and Fiber Conference in Burlington, Kentucky, July 14–16, 2023
  5. The winners will be spotlighted in our award-winning nationally distributed publication Alpacas Magazine and on the SDC webpage.

The competition will be judged by industry professionals who will provide a critique for each entry. The scoring is based on an evaluation of individual entries rather than a comparative system.

We’re committed to your success!

We believe working with schools and instructors is the best way for our competition to run. By coordinating the competition through instructors and teaching programs rather than individual students, your guidance will provide a more meaningful and practical experience for the entering students. We have support and informational materials to make this experience as rewarding and easy to enter as possible.

Classroom Presentations

A PowerPoint presentation describing the attributes of alpaca fiber has been developed for the competition and will be sent to you on request. Another option is to invite an alpaca farmer to your classroom. They can present examples of alpaca fiber and textiles or can arrange for students to visit their farm. Please contact us for more information.


Sponsorship and entry fees are now waived, as the competition will now be supported by AOA member donations. However, we request that you reserve entry slots for your students by April 1, 2023, so that we can plan on our schedule for judging.


100% alpaca yarn, roving, and fabric swatches donated by AOA members will be provided upon request. Download and submit the Sample Kit Order Form to receive materials.

Materials may only be provided to individual students through instructors. The material kits will provide enough yarn, roving, and/or fabric swatches for 3 to 5 students, and include multiple natural colors. Other materials may be used in the competition as described in the rules and regulations document. Please take a moment to review the rules for use of non-alpaca materials, as the scores of the entries will be affected by the use of non-acceptable fibers in the design.

With the benefits the competition provides to both students and faculty, we encourage you to promote the competition at your school and to fellow faculty members. Several schools have found the competition to be of benefit in the class curriculum. Read through the Official Rules on the website. Written official rules and regulations will be sent by email upon request.

We’re sure you will agree that this is an opportunity not to be missed! Put this event on your calendars now! The entry deadline is May 15, 2023.


Ruth Fuqua
AOA Student Design Competition Coordinator
Hickory Bluff Farms
7236 Lebanon Road
Mount Juliet, TN 37122
Email Ruth Fuqua

The AOA Student Design Competition's mission is to expose college-level art, fashion, and textile design students and professors to the wonders of designing with alpaca fiber. The competition is funded through student entry sponsorship and donations to the program by individual alpaca farms and their affiliated organizations and businesses.