Wool For Making Rugs And Carpets
Here you will learn the constantly asked question “why are wool rugs worth the money, “what are luxury rugs made of”, and – “are wool rugs hard to clean?”

What Is Wool?

Wool fabric is a material obtained from different sources of animal hair. Many people relate the term “wool” only to sheep, but in reality, makers collect many types of wool from other hairy animals rather than just sheep.

Process Of Making Wool

The rug manufacturers gather the hair of the animals, and then they make yarn by spinning them on a spinning wheel (charkha, as it is called in India) or in the yarn mills.
Afterward, they are made into yarn for garments, area rugs, textiles, sweaters, blankets, etc.

Wool is specified for its continued and heat-insulating characteristics.
Animals like camels, alpacas, goats, yaks, etc. make wool all year long, but sheep make the most common and popular wool.

Australia and China are the major producing nations of wool, and the perception of the number of sheep in the world at present is nearly a billion.


The Benefits Of Rug Making With Wool

20 Popular Types Of Wool For Making Rugs

The art of rug making with wool has been around for centuries. Since natural wool-made rugs and carpets came into existence, wool has become a boon for many as it connects a long chain of people with a reliable source of income.

Wool rugs made in India are of the most popular varieties, from the low, medium, and top types of wool as per shopper prerequisites.

Some of the most popular types of wool used for rug making are:

  1. New Zealand wool
  2. Worsted / Semi-Worsted wool
  3. Indian wool
  4. Himalayan wool
  5. Mohair wool
  6. Merino wool
  7. Cashmere wool
  8. Angora Wool
  9. Alpaca wool
  10. Qiviut wool
  11. Vicuna wool
  12. Melton wool
  13. Llama wool
  14. Argentinian wool
  15. Sheridan wool
  16. Camel wool
  17. Yak wool
  18. Cheviot wool
  19. Lamb wool
  20. Shetland wool
  21. Sharkskin wool

1. New Zealand Wool

Hand knotted wool rugs made of New Zealand wool are one of the most popular types of wool among all other types. If you are confused by the variety of wool, it is highly recommended that you go with 100% New Zealand wool rugs while purchasing or having to order one. Because of its softness, premium appearance, and quality, New Zealand wool is also the best wool for rug tufting and many other rug construction styles.

2. Worsted / Semi-Worsted Wool

Rugs made of worsted wool are much finer and softer than New Zealand wool, so they are expensive compared to NZ wool for their superior quality. However, semi-worsted wool is a little cheaper as it is a little lower grade than 100% worsted wool.

3. Indian Wool

Bikaner wool is sometimes also referred to as Indian wool as it is produced in India. Rugs made out of them are beautiful. The texture of the Indian wool rugs is slightly rough to feel compared to the other kinds of wool, but it is one of the most inexpensive wool fabrics in the rug market.

4. Himalayan Wool

As the name suggests, Himalayan wool is obtained from the Himalayan region’s sheep. A Himalayan sheep’s wool rug is soft, durable, and fluffy, but it can cost 2 to 3 times more than an NZ woolen rug.

5. Mohair Wool

Mohair rugs are well known for their durability, luster, and great sheen.
The wool is obtained from an Angora goat’s hair and has densely covered shaggy hair on its body. Luxurious rugs and other textiles made out of them are pretty expensive.

6. Merino Wool

Merino wool is another popular wool that is one of the smoothest of all the wool obtained from sheep. This natural wool comes in various shades, e.g., vivid tints, pastels, and multicolor strands, and is dyeable to any color.

7. Cashmere Wool

Cashmere wool is obtained from goats in the Kashmir region of India. Cashmere wool rugs are very soft and light, and they insulate heat better than merino wool rugs. The yarn’s softness is such that when it comes into contact with the body, it feels like a cozy hug. It is for this reason that cashmere shawls and a variety of other textiles are also made of it. Cashmere goats only make a small amount of wool a few times a year, so they are expensive.

8. Angora Wool

Carpets and rugs made from Angora wool are incredibly soft and delicate as they are from a rare rabbit breed. Commonly, these rabbits are kept in inhumane conditions, and the wool is costly.

9. Alpaca Wool

Alpaca wool rugs are more durable and super soft than other sheep’s wool. Because the wool is so expensive, many manufacturers use it to blend with other wool to achieve the desired look and feel at a relatively lower cost. Alpaca fiber lacks lanolin, making it hypoallergenic.

10. Qiviut Wool

Qiviut is an ultra-fine type of wool that does not have tiny barbs like sheep’s wool and refers to the soft underwool of the Musk Ox and Dominga. The fabric does not shrink when put in water. Compared to Cashmere wool, Qiviut wool rugs are warmer, softer, and more durable than sheep’s wool. This fiber is highly in demand for its exceptional warmth and softness.

11. Vicuna Wool

Vicuna wool is a rare wool that originated in the Andes and is from a camel family. It is a close relative of the llama and the alpaca. A Vicuna wool rug is softer, warmer, and more elegant than cashmere. Since they are sensitive to chemicals, they are used in their natural golden form without dyeing them.

12. Melton Wool

In Melton wool, two folds of wool are woven together. Melton wool is the best waterproofing material because it is not only dense but also water-lifting and wind-resistant.

13. Llama Wool

One of the finest wools available is llama wool. Unlike the llama’s coarse outer guard hair, llama wool grows from its fine undercoat. The llamas can be sheared or brushed like angora goats and rabbits to collect the fine undercoat. Llamas’ wool is uncommon and hard to find, but great wool for making rugs.

Is Wool Allergenic?

Wool is unappealing to strain, bugs, insects, and dirt and manages temperature and dampness. Woolen fabric is perfect for those who are asthmatic and hypersensitive. So many studies have made it quite clear that sleeping on woolen beds brings comfort and a good night’s sleep.

Am I allergic To Wool?

Pure wool is not allergenic. Not at all. That’s a big myth. Learn more here about the myths about woolen carpets and rugs.

Wool Care Tips and How to Maintain Your Wool Rug with Regular Cleanings

So, are wool rugs hard to clean? Wool rugs are quickly becoming more popular because of their durability and design. However, it is important to make sure that you are doing the necessary upkeep to keep your rug looking fresh.

  • It would be best if you first vacuumed the area where your rug is every day to remove any dust and debris.
  • You should also rotate the rug so that you are not constantly walking in one place, causing wear on the edges.
  • If your wool rug gets stained, it’s best to use dish soap and a sponge or cloth to help clean it up properly and remove the stain.
  • You can also use a vacuum cleaner to remove some surface stains, but don’t expect miracles!
  • Moth spray for wool rugs works exceptionally well to keep insects out.

How To Clean A Wool Rug?

Cleaning wool rugs may vary depending on the type of their construction. For example, a shaggy rug with a higher pile height would need a different cleaning method than a standard-pile height rug.

  • Vacuum often. Try with the best vacuum for wool rugs here.
  • Rotate the rug once every 2-3 weeks
  • Keep away from a moist area
  • Go for spot cleaning
  • For high-quality rugs, contact professional rug cleaners.

Does Wool Carpet Last longer?

By taking good and proper care, wool can last longer. Fortunately, a wool thread can easily bend or fold an innumerable number of times, say up to around eighteen to twenty thousand times, but ahead of that, it may start to break and cut. Cotton is more than six times more breakable than wool.

How to Pick the Best Type of Wool for Your Rug?

100% NZ wool is the standard wool that qualifies for top-class rugs. Out of more than a dozen wool types, choosing the best wool for your area rug would also depend on the following criteria:

  • Area of placement of the rug (e.g., living room or bathroom, etc.)
  • The type of rug (e.g., tufted rug, knotted rug, shaggy rug, etc.)
  • Decide on the kind of wool for making rugs according to your budget and d├ęcor style.

What is a virgin wool rug?

A wool rug made from a lamb’s first shear is a virgin wool rug. Virgin wool may also refer to wool that has not been recycled. Hence, each fiber hair is longer and purer than recycled wool.

What is the best wool type for rug making?

Pure New Zealand wool is perhaps the best choice for rug making because it is soft, shiny, and smooth. There are others, but over 80% of the rug industry uses NZ wool in their rugs. NZ wool and silk area rugs make a popular combination.

What are the types of wool for rug making?

Wool is a natural fiber from sheep, typically used in rugs and textiles. Some of the best yarns for making rugs are:
New Zealand wool
Worsted wool
Himalayan wool
Mohair wool
Merino wool
Cashmere wool

What is a worsted wool rug?

A worsted wool rug and an NZ wool rug have nearly the same texture, except that worsted wool area rugs are finer, higher quality, and softer. Hence, they are more expensive compared to NZ wool.

Is wool good for rugs?

The practice of making rugs with wool has been around for centuries. Wool is known to be the original material, and the most in-demand rugs are for their softness, luster, and many other benefits. The most luxurious rugs are always made of pure wool.

How do you know if a rug is wool?

It is not reasonably possible to tell if a rug is wool by looking at a rug picture. The best way is to touch and feel the surface texture of the carpet or rug. Woolen flooring should not have a plastic feel like most synthetic materials have.