Thinking about what the benefits of wool rugs could be? We have come across countless homeowners that always wonder what is the best type of rug to get when it comes to durability, wear, stains, etc.
Now you probably noticed this yourself that finding the best carpet for your home starts and simple, but when you get to the carpet store, it seemed to quickly become complicated. You know you want something that looks good in your home, feels great and most importantly it stays there in that way for years to come.
Why Wool & 10 Benefits Of Wool Area Rugs
Knowing about carpet fibers and how they perform we give you a better understanding of which carpet to buy. So in this article, we’ll talk about the benefits of wool rugs. Wool is the most popular luxurious fiber. Wool is considered by many to be the very best carpet fiber material available. Sure they are the most expensive, but for good reason. Some of there benefits are:
- Wool Rug Durability & Flexible: Wool is extremely durable, strong, elastic and has excellent resilience. More than most of the carpet fibers. Wool has a high degree of natural crimp in the fibers, similar to a coil spring which helps it withstand heavy pressure and footfall. Hence, wool carpets maintain a good appearance for longer.
- Naturally Flame Retardant: Wool is naturally flame retardant. Although wool will catch fire it will not support a flame. This means it was just smoldering and self extinguish when the flame source is removed. The moisture that the wool holds contributes to it being flame-retardant. Burns from cigarettes and splats from the fire will cause minimal damage to a wool carpet.
- Warm, Cosy, Cool & Comfy: Wool has superb insulating properties. It helps to keep your room warm in winter and cool in summer. Its unique chemical structure means that they have a natural ability to regulate the humidity in your home. It quite simply breathes. Wool absorbs moisture from the air when the atmosphere is damp and releases it when the atmosphere is dry. This provides improved air quality and creates a more comfortable home environment. It does this without being damp or cold to the touch.
- Water Repellent: Wool is naturally water-repellent. This is because the surface of the wool fibers has overlapping waxy scales, which is a hydrophobic, water-resistant. In other words, it makes them shower-proof. This means that water droplets will bead and roll of the fibers, delaying the observation time.
- Highly Absorbent: Wool is also highly absorbent. Amazingly, wool can absorb up to 35% percent of its own weight in water before it even starts to feel wet. Are you wondering how this is all that possible? It may seem confusing that wool is both water repellent and highly moisture absorbent. Well there are two different parts of the fiber that give wool these qualities. Like said earlier, wool has a hydrophobic water-repellent exterior but it has a hydrophilic water-loving interior too. So even though it’s natural water, yet the inner core, however, will slowly absorb the water vapor. So wool is both moisture repellant and water absorbent.
- Less Static Electricity: Now because of this unique moisture retention properties, wool carpets don’t conduct static electricity. Less static electricity means less dirt. The low surface energy of wool reduces the degree of dry soil pick up compared to most other fibers.
- Soil Trapping Fibres: Wool is naturally soil-resistant. This because it’s a protective layer that traps the dirt in the upper area of the carpet pile. This makes the dirt and dust be removed with ease. When it comes to cleaning, wool indeed responds very well as the moisture makes the fibers swell and release the dirt.
- Multiple Areas For Usage: Woolen rugs can be used in high foot traffic areas. They can be laid in multiple places at home like living rooms, hallways, entryways, dining rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens. On the other hand, some locations where they are better off avoiding are places like the bathroom and outdoor. This is due to the fact that wool may soak enough moisture leading to wool’s quality deterioration if not dry at earliest. Moreover, overexposure to sunlight can fade off the color dye of the wool.
- Some Hidden Secrets Of Wool: Wool has excellent soil hiding capabilities. Wool will not show soil as many other fibers. The reason for this is that wool is an opaque fiber as opposed to synthetics which are transparent. Wool does not refract or reflect light like synthetics. The natural soft appearance provided by the scales on the fibers diffuses light. This makes the soil much less apart from the human eye.
- Green Is Clean: The best thing of all about wool is that it’s truly a green fiber. They are grown every year by sheep throughout the fields all around the world. It is an annually renewable natural resource without any harm to the environment.
Types Of Wool Carpets
Carpets and area rugs developed from wool have come a long way since centuries. Wool is a natural fiber and carpets made out of them are known to be the best of all. They are used in making beautiful handwoven rugs in Hand-knotted, Hand-loom, and Hand-tufted. They are also used in machine-made but not in its pure form. This is because they are not so strong alone for the machine weaving. Instead, they are blended with unnatural fiber for the same purpose.
Pure wool is very expensive. This is because of the comprehensive labor put in its creation and construction. Some of the very popular types of wool are New Zealand Wool, they are also known as NZ wool and is a natural fiber. New Zealand wool is considered to be the finest wool for rug making. The wool is obtained from one of the finest breeds of sheep in New Zealand. The texture of this fine wool is the softest and is processed to a very white color after removing the natural grease out from them. They truly are the best quality wool and are the most expensive too.
Some of the other popular wool other than NZ wool is Semi Worsted wool and Indian wool. These are a great alternative to NZ wool and are inexpensive too.
How Long Do Wool Rugs Last
As mentioned above, the longevity of wool rugs greatly depends upon how well they are taken care of. If you want to better understand their longevity and durability, then take Antique rugs for an example. Rugs are considered Antique when they are over about fifty years old. There are antiques that are as old as some hundred years and more.
A good quality hand-knotted woolen rugs with high and dense pile can last longer for 25-100 years and more. Hand-tufted woolen rugs are less durable in comparison to hand-knotted, they can last for 5-15 years.
Wool Vs Nylon Carpet
The difference between wool and nylon is not only in their texture but also in their properties. Wool is a natural fiber extracted from sheep. They are very soft and comfy. Nylon is synthetic. They are hard in texture-wise and more durable. Carpet made from nylon are mostly machine-made and are can be made very identical to wool. Wool carpets are suitable for indoor and apart from weekly cleaning they need professional cleaning once in 1-2 years. It may take a professional cleaning for stubborn stains. Nylon carpets are great for outdoors and bathrooms as they can bear the outdoor exposure. They need less care and can be cleaned easily compared to wool.
Wool Carpet With Kids
There really is not any harm with wool fiber carpets. They are environmentally friendly and can be laid anywhere in the house. When it comes to kids care then there are certain important points that must be kept in mind. Kids play with their toys quite often with their belly down laying on the rug. During this time they unintentionally tend to inhale the dusty air ripped off from them. The air close to the rug surface carries tiny hairy particles of the wool fiber with them that may cause allergies and respiratory troubles. The problem gets even more serious for kids if the color dye used in the wool is unnatural or with any harmful chemical elements.
Cons of Wool Rugs and Carpets
Everything comes with their own advantages and disadvantages. Whereas of woolen rugs, there are more pros than cons, but there are a few disadvantages too. Let us see what are they and to what extent they may have an effect on a favorite piece of flooring.
- Moth Attack: Unlike man-made fibers, you may need to consider the organic problems of wool. Since wool is a protein it can be attacked by carpet moths. This is a problem that needs immediate attention because it will continue to get worse.
- Unbreakable Bond: Now wool absorbs dyes easily. Wool holds dye to the core of its fiber. You may have seen rugs in museums which are well over a hundred years old, yet they still have brilliant colors. This bond that wool has with dye explains why it’s difficult to remove any stains that include dye or coloring agents. Wool is easily stained if you don’t clean it up quickly.
- Meat, Spud & Gravy: An interesting fact is, wool is more vulnerable to stains similar to its own chemical makeup. What it means by this is, as said before, wool is essentially a protein. So it’s vulnerable to a protein like stains like meat juices, pet soiling, blood, tea, coffee, etc.
- Shop Bought Products A No No: Special care should be used when cleaning wool carpets. Wool is sensitive to high alkaline chemicals after prolonged exposure. This exposure will tend to make wool brittle and discolored somewhat. So do not go putting shop-bought products onto your wool carpet. It will completely ruin the fibers.
- Limit Sunshine: So where would you put a wall carpet? Well, you would want to avoid putting a wool carpet in any room that gets constant sunlight. It can fade quite a bit in the sunlight. Exposing the carpet to a little sunlight here and there isn’t going to be a problem, just make sure you limit it.
- Not Ideal For Damp Rooms: Wool is prone to mildew so avoid putting wool in any rooms that have a moisture problem. It’s not a good idea to put in the kid’s playroom either. It’s best to install wool in rooms that would be treated a little bit more formally and who knows they might last you years.