Are wool carpets good? What are the downsides of wool carpet?
Here we will try to answer some of the key questions that come up time and again regarding wool carpets. We hope the information here will help you decide if wool is the right carpet choice for you.
Are wool carpets easy to clean? How do you wash/clean a wool carpet?
Provided the right techniques and materials are used, wool carpets are easy to keep clean and maintained. The natural oils in wool that keep sheep protected from harsh conditions and bad weather will also give your carpet an inherent degree of stain protection and additional stain protection treatments can be applied. The key is to attend to any spills etc as quickly as possible so stains cannot soak into the fibres of the carpet.
Care should be taken to avoid using any harsh chemical cleaning products as these can have a detrimental effect on the appearance of your carpet. For further advice on the cleaning of wool carpets and links to approved local cleaning professionals, we recommend you visit the WoolSafe website or download the WoolSafe App.
Does wool carpet stain easily?
Wool is naturally resistant to stains from oil based liquids but will more readily absorb non oil based liquids. In some circumstances this can be advantageous as wool will help remove humidity from the air in your home but substances with high levels of pigmentation like wine or coffee can cause problems. Stain prevention treatments can help keep spills on the surface of the carpet giving you more time to clean things up before they cause lasting damage to the carpet but generally speaking, the faster you can clean things up the better.
Can wool carpets be steam cleaned?
Wool can be steam cleaned and this can be a very effective way of keeping your carpet looking its best. However care should be taken to make sure the carpet fibres do not become over saturated as this can cause long term damage. If in doubt, refer to the manufacturer guidelines for cleaning or use an approved carpet cleaner from the WoolSafe directory.
Can wool carpet cause allergies?
Wool is usually a great choice for people with allergies as they help filter the air in your home and help remove irritants like dust and pollen. This means these carpets are often beneficial for people with allergies or conditions such as asthma. In rare cases, people can develop an allergy to the wool itself but this is quite unusual.
Can wool carpet get wet?
Wool can certainly get wet. The fibre contains natural oils that partially repel water (think about the sheep living outside in all weathers) and will suffer no adverse effects from getting wet. Having said that, prolonged and excessive exposure to water or moisture can cause the wool to become overly saturated and may lead to cases of mould or mildew etc.
How much does wool carpet cost? Is it expensive?
There is a huge range of wool carpets that vary dramatically in price depending on quality and/or style. Overall, wool is usually more expensive than carpets made from alternative synthetic fibres like polypropylene or nylon but wool carpets possess a host of qualities that make it arguably a better investment. Characteristics such as being resistant to fire, helping to clean the air of allergens as well as being more resilient fibre that is likely to keep its shape and appearance for longer, all add additional value to a carpet made of wool.
Which wool carpet is best?
This will depend on your criteria but here are some of the factors to consider. Wool is predominantly sourced from sheep in either the UK or New Zealand. The New Zealand wool is usually more consistent in colour and often used when the wool is dyed to keep the finish as even as possible. British wool by comparison is more multi-tonal and slightly coarser but can be extremely hard wearing. Another factor that can affect the quality of your carpet is the construction of the yarn. Yarn can be constructed from a single strand of wool or from multiple strands spun together, for example a yarn made of 3 separate strands would be called a 3 ply yarn. Yarn made from a larger number of strands will usually be more resilient and last longer.
Do wool carpets attract moths?
Moths can be attracted to wool but most carpets will have some sort of moth guarantee that either means the carpet has an anti moth treatment applied to it or that the manufacturer will commit to replacing the carpet should an infestation occur. There are also steps you can take to deter moths in the first place such as using the scent of lavender or cedar.
Does wool carpet shed? When do wool carpets stop shedding?
Shedding is a normal occurrence with carpets made of wool, especially in the first few weeks/months after being installed. Shedding should settle down after a while but regular vacuuming will help to keep the carpet looking its best. To complicate matters, some carpets recommend using the beater bar attachment and some don’t. Some vacuums can be overly aggressive with their beater bars while others are not aggressive enough. If in doubt, contact the supplier or refer to the manufacturer’s care instructions.
Is wool carpet good for stairs?
Yes! They are great for stairs due to its natural resilience and springy nature. This allows the carpet to bounce back to its original shape after being walked on and so will continue to look its best for longer than a synthetic carpet, particularly in high traffic areas like stairs. The exception to this would be the largest and chunkiest loop pile carpets which may flatten down in the highest traffic areas but for the most part, wool makes an excellent choice for stair carpet.
Do wool carpets fade?
All carpets will fade if exposed to high levels of sunlight but carpets made of wool are a little more susceptible to this.
Is wool carpet good for people with pets?
This will depend on both the carpet and the pet! Many carpets are constructed of tiny loops of yarn (a loop pile carpet) and these loops can prove irresistible to pets with claws. The loops can vary in size though so a smaller loop with a pet that isn’t intent on destroying it could be fine. Twist pile carpets are a safer bet if you are worried about claws picking at loops. You should also think about how likely your pet is to have an accident on the carpet or to use the carpet to present its latest catch to you. If either of these things seem likely, you may need to consider a different material for your flooring like laminate that is resistant to both scratches and stains.
Wool carpet vs synthetic (Polypropylene/Polyester/Nylon)
Carpets constructed from wool will be more durable, flame resistant, hypoallergenic, recyclable & sustainable and usually warmer than the alternative synthetic options. For more information about the issues surrounding man-made fibre carpets, please check out our blog on the subject.
Do wool carpets last longer?
Usually yes. The natural resilience of wool and the ability to retain its shape even after heavy use, means a carpet made from wool has a better chance of looking good for longer than a synthetic alternative.
Is Wool Carpet Eco-Friendly/Sustainable?
Yes, absolutely! Wool comes from the sheared fleeces of sheep so is a naturally occurring fibre that regenerates rapidly and can be harvested with minimal environmental impact. Because wool is not derived from chemicals it emits no harmful VOCs and can actually benefit air quality in the home. Furthermore, at the end of its use, wool is 100% biodegradable and breaks down into nitrogen, sulphur, carbon dioxide and water which all stimulate new plant growth.
If you have a question that hasn’t been answered here, please get in touch and we will do our best to find the answer for you!