benefits of wool rugs

Benefits of wool rugs
Thinking about what the benefits of wool rugs could be? We have come across countless homeowners that always wonder what the best type of area rug to get when it comes to durability, wear, stains, etc. is.

Now you probably noticed this yourself that finding the best carpet for your home starts simple, but when you get to the carpet store, it seems to become complicated quickly. You know you want something that looks good in your home, feels excellent, and most importantly it stays there in that way for years to come.

Here we will cover the pros and cons of wool rugs and what the best wool carpet should be like.

Wool Rug 9x12 - 2 Ply 60c Plain NZ Wool, 1 Ply 30c Handspun NZ Wool

10 Major Benefits Of Wool 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 a good reason. Some of these benefits are:

  1. Wool Rug Durability & Flexible: Wool is exceptionally durable, reliable, elastic, and has excellent resilience. More than most of the carpet fibers. Wool has a high degree of a natural crimp in the threads, similar to a coil spring which helps it withstand heavy pressure and footfall. Hence, wool carpets maintain a good appearance for longer.

  2. Naturally Flame Retardant: Wool is typically flame retardant. Although wool will catch fire, it will not support a flame. Meaning it just smolders and self extinguishes when the flame source gets 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.

  3. 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 entirely breathes. Wool absorbs moisture from the air when the atmosphere is damp and releases it when the atmosphere is dry. Air absorption provides improved air quality and creates a more comfortable home environment. It does this without being wet or cold to the touch.

  4. Water Repellent: Wool is naturally water-repellent; this is because the surface of the wool fibers has overlapping waxy scales, which is hydrophobic, water-resistant. In other words, it makes them a shower-proof. The water droplets will bead and roll off the fibers, delaying the observation time.

  5. Highly Absorbent: Of all the benefits of wool rugs, one not to forget is that wool is also highly absorbent. Amazingly, wool can absorb up to 35% of its 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 yarn these qualities. Like said earlier, wool has a hydrophobic water-repellent exterior, but it has a hydrophobic 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.

  6. Less Static Electricity: Now, as they have special moisture retention properties, wool area rugs do not 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.

  7. Soil Trapping Fibers: Wool is naturally soil-resistant. This is because it’s a protective layer that traps the dirt in the upper area of the carpet pile. This feature makes the dirt and dust get removed with ease. When it comes to cleaning, wool indeed responds very well as the moisture makes the fibers swell and release the dirt.

  8. Multiple Areas For Usage: Woolen rugs is a high foot traffic areas material. You can place them in numerous 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. Why? The reason being 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.

  9. 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 a dark fiber as opposed to transparent synthetics. 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 visible from the human eye.

  10. Green Is Clean: The best thing of all about wool is that it’s genuinely 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.

The benefits of wool rugs mentioned above are enough to position them the best material for area rugs and carpets. They will continue to live with creative art flooring for more centuries to come. 

Hand Knotted Wool Rug 8x10
Hand-knotted wool rug 8x10

Types Of Wool Carpets

Carpets and area rugs developed from wool have come a long way since centuries. Wool yarn is a natural fiber and carpets made out of them are known to be the best of all. They help in making hand knotted wool rugs, and other beautiful hand woven woolen rugs like handloom, hand-tufted, shag, and flatweave rugs. They are sometimes also used in machine-made but not in its pure form.

Wool alone for machine-made carpets is not so strong for machine weaving. Instead, the use of a blend of wool with unnatural fiber for the same purpose makes great machine-made carpets.

Pure wool is costly, and this is because of the general labor effort put in its creation and construction. Some of the trendy types of wool are New Zealand wool; they are also known as NZ wool and are a natural fiber.

New Zealand wool is the finest wool for making rugs. The wool yarn comes from one of the most beautiful breeds of sheep in New Zealand. The texture of them is excellent and is the softest compared to other wool. They are white after removing the natural grease out from them. These properties add to the benefits of wool area rugs. They indeed are the best quality wool and are the most expensive too.

Some of the other famous 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 Traditional Wool Rugs Last

As mentioned above, the longevity of wool area rugs dramatically depends upon how well they are taken care of. If you want to understand their longevity and durability better, then take antique rugs for an example. Among all benefits of wool rugs, its longevity and price value with its age is the main advantage of all. Carpets are Antique if and when they are over about fifty years or older. Some antiques are as old as some hundred years and more.

A good quality hand-knotted wool rug with a 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. It is normal to notice wool rug shedding when newly bought, but that gradually lessens and stop over time.

Nylon is synthetic and is hard in texture-wise and more durable. Carpets made from plastic are mostly machine-made and 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 are easy to clean compared to wool.

Wool Carpet With Kids

There is no such harm in using wool fiber carpets. They are environmentally friendly and can be laid anywhere in the house. When it comes to caring kids, then specific vital points 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 severe for kids if the color dye used in the wool is unnatural or with any harmful chemical elements.

Cons of Modern Wool Rugs and Carpets

Everything comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Whereas of woolen rugs, there are more pros than cons, but there are a few disadvantages too. After knowing the benefits of wool rugs, let us see some of their cons and to what extent they may affect a favorite piece of flooring.

  • Moth Attack: Unlike human-made fibers, you may need to consider the organic problems of wool. Since wool is a protein, it can get attacked by carpet moths. It is a problem that needs immediate attention because it will continue to get worse.

  • Unbreakable Bond: Now, wool absorbs dyes quickly. High-quality wool holds color to the core. 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 coloring agents. Wool is easily stained if you don’t clean it up quickly.

  • Meat, Spud & Gravy: A fascinating fact is, wool is more vulnerable to stains similar to its chemical makeup. What it means by this is, as said before, wool is essentially a protein. So it’s susceptible to a protein like stains like meat juices, pet soiling, blood, tea, coffee, etc.

  • Shop Bought Products A No No: Special care should be taken 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 placing a wool carpet in any room that gets constant sunlight. It can fade quite a bit in the sunshine. Exposing the rug 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 quality wool rugs in places created a little bit more formally and who knows they might last you years.

The benefits of wool rugs will continue to amaze the world of exquisite flooring. If you have any questions or wish to fall into a discussion about wool carpets, please do not hesitate to contact us.