What is an Alpaca?

Alpacas are a fleece-bearing animal from the camelid family that originate from South America. Their life expectancy can be as long as 20 to 25 years. Female alpacas are capable of being bred until they are about 20 years of age, having one baby "cria" per year.


These beautiful animals were imported to Canada in 1988, and the industry has been growing since with over 15,000 Alpacas. The province of Ontario now has the third largest population of alpacas in Canada.

The alpaca is a herd animal of gentle nature. Alpaca fleece is one of the most sought after natural fibers because of it's luxurious nature, durability and warmth, (alpaca fibre is up to 8 times warmer than sheep wool).

The fiber is non-allergenic and is free of lanolin, so it can be worn next to the skin with very little irritation, and is soft as cashmere. Alpacas are white, brown, black, and everything in between totalling 22 different colours. The animals are sheared once a year, usually in mid May.

At Salem Alpacas, we use the fibre in our luxurious handmade duvets. See the duvets page for more information.