Wool is one of the most popular materials in carpet weaving. The history of its use is rooted in ancient times when the tribes of nomadic herders learned to use wool for making clothes, bedspreads, tablecloths and carpets. Since then millennia have passed but wool is still widely used in carpet weaving, so today I have prepared research on whether wool carpets are worth the money.
Is a wool carpet the best? The wool carpet has good soundproofing properties, unlike synthetics, it does not accumulate static electricity and absorbs excess moisture in rooms with high humidity. However, the wool carpet has its drawbacks, too — it is contraindicated for allergy sufferers and you will always need to protect it from mould, fungus, moths and burnout in the sun.
Since wool carpets have both — advantages and disadvantages, let’s dive into this deeper and see if wool carpets are really worth the money.
Wool Carpet Pros:
Wool carpets are resistant to damages.
No wonder that carpets made of wool are famous for being very durable. How long does wool carpet last? Carpets made of high-quality wool can last more than 50 years without losing their original appearance. The durability is wool carpets is justified by the elasticity of the wool fibres. A wool carpet is perfect even if you have pets or children since thanks to its density of the pile weave it becomes resistant to wearing off.
I have had my wool carpet in the living room for the last 15 years at least and it still looks like new. Even though I have a British shorthair cat that moults all the time, my beige wool carpet is in excellent condition. Here is a picture of my cat lying on my wool carpet.
Wool carpets are easy to clean.
Wool carpets do not stain easily and also water will not stain your carpet as it will just dry. Wool carpets do not require frequent cleaning. If you vacuum your carpet once a week and do not spill tea every now and then, your carpet will be more than fine.
Wool carpets can get dirty for several reasons:
• Dust, sand, clay and other hard particles penetrate into the carpet pile can damage the pile and make your wool carpet wear off much faster.
• Airborne grease particles falling onto the pile of the carpet will make your carpet fade. That is why it is crucial to do general cleaning at least once a month.
• Certain types of chemical contaminants quickly penetrate the carpet and even if you clean them right away, they can leave a dark stain on your carpet. The same applies to any liquid or food that can leave a stain. Make sure you wash your carpet right after this happened as you can remove the fresh stain much easier than if you let it dry.
Any spilt liquid on the wool carpet must be removed immediately — the longer the liquid remains on the carpet, the less likely it is to remove the stain without leaving stains. Wipe spilt liquids with an absorbent cloth and gently scrape off hard dirt and then remove stains. An old stain can cause a lot of trouble even for professionals.
If you spilt some liquid, use the following things to remove the stains from your wool carpet:
• Detergent — neutral crystallizing carpet shampoo;
• Ammonia (used diluted — two tablespoons of ammonia per 1 litre of water);
• Vinegar essence (two tablespoons per 1 litre of water);
• Dry cleaning solvent (stain remover);
• A сlean white cloth or paper towel.
Wool carpets are protected against deformation, breakage and prints.
Wool carpets can withstand strong pressure and retain their shape. Even if you roll your wool carpet, it will not damage your carpet.
You can put a heavy table or desk on your carpet and if you want to move furniture in the future, a wool carpet will not have any prints and look like new. I think this is a very important quality of wool carpets because I personally move my furniture a lot in the house and I do not want to see any prints left from my wardrobe or a couch on the carpet. Wool carpets quickly restore their previous pile shape even if heavy objects have been placed on them for a long time.
Wool carpets are hypoallergenic.
If you suffer from allergies, you can get a wool carpet which will not make you sneeze or cough. Wool is a natural material that does not cause allergies. Moreover, wool carpets will not spread dust mites, which is perfect for everyone’s health not only for those people who are allergic to something.
Wool carpets are fire safe.
Natural wool is a non-combustible material that smoulders when ignited. So you can be sure that you will not get your house burned down because of your wool carpet.
Wool carpets will keep your house warm and dry.
Wool is a natural material hence, it is absolutely safe for health. You should get a wool carpet if you want additional thermal insulation. If you live in a cold area, the wool carpet will be perfect for your bedroom, living room or your children’s room as it is extremely soft and will keep you warm in winter. Wool carpets maintain a comfortable microclimate in the house thanks to the properties of sound insulation and moisture retention.
Wool carpets are for everyone.
Shops offer a wide range of designs and colours of wool carpets and combinations of wool with other materials such as cotton and silk.
Wool Carpets Cons:
Wool carpets can be electrified.
The surface of the pile is “electrified” and retains static electricity well in dry rooms. You can avoid this by purchasing a carpet which was pre-processed at the factory.
Wool carpets can cause allergy.
Natural wool can cause allergies just like any material of animal origin. In general, wool carpets are hypoallergenic but if someone in your family is allergic to wool, you should not get a wool carpet.
Wool carpets are pretty expensive.
The price of wool carpets is always higher than that of synthetic carpets. However, the high price is fully justified by the quality of the product. Since wool carpets are very durable and can last 30-40 years if they are properly looked after, so I think this is a good investment. It is better to pay 200$ for a high-quality carpet and know that you will not need to get a new carpet in twp years than to buy a cheap synthetic carpet and throw it away in six months.
Wool carpets are demanding.
You must provide proper care to your wool carpet. You should not wash it, wool likes dry cleaning and is “afraid” of moisture. You need to air out your house to make sure the air is not moist. Wool carpets also should not be cleaned with steam, hot water or high pH stain removers.
However, if you do not maintain your wool carpet correctly, it can get mould and moths, so you need to clean the carpet once a week.
Wool carpets do not like high humidity.
Wool is characterized by the ability to absorb moisture from the air, therefore you should not put a wool carpet in rooms with high humidity. Humidity leads to the multiplication of bacteria in the pores of the natural pile, the appearance of a putrid odour and the gradual destruction of fibres.
Wool carpets are subject to mould and fungus.
Natural wool, unlike synthetics, is susceptible to the influence of fungus and moths. Thanks to the scaly structure of natural fibres, mould penetrates deep into the pile. Fungal spores are difficult to remove without fading the colour or damaging the wool fibres.
Wool carpets cannot withstand direct sun rays.
Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight will cause the colours of your wool carpet to fade.
Bottom Line: Is a Wool Carpet Worth the Money?
Wool carpets are definitely worth the money as they are resistant to stains and other damage, easy to clean and hypoallergenic. Wool carpets will make your house warmer and cosier and they are also fireproof. You can find a wool carpet of any shape and colour in any shop and they are also very stylish.
Wool carpets trap dust particles and prevent them from flying back into the air. Not only does it make the air cleaner but also reduces the risk of allergies in people susceptible to dust mites.
It is also very important to mention that wool carpets are considered to be the most durable as they usually last more than 30 years, hence, wool carpets are a good investment. You need to just regularly vacuum your carpet and it will serve you for a very long time.
Do not forget that natural wool is an excellent heat insulator so you can walk around the house barefoot even during the coldest winter and you and your children will never catch a cold.
How Can You Tell If a Carpet is a Wool?
Modern carpets are made from different types of fibres. People have been using natural materials for carpet weaving since ancient times, however, nowadays synthetics are becoming very popular, too. Adding synthetic threads reduces the price of carpets, but this also increases the chance of wearing off and makes the carpet more “vulnerable” to moths and mould. Even the highest quality synthetic carpet can never compete with a natural wool carpet.
It is crucial to distinguish between wool and synthetic carpets, here are some steps on how to identify a wool carpet.
- Natural wool does not shine in the sun. Pile made of synthetic threads has a characteristic waxy shiny look.
- Woollen threads are twisted from individual short hairs, so the fibres look fluffy. The tips of the hairs protrude beyond the boundaries of the thread just like branches on a tree. Synthetic threads are smooth and even. If individual fibres are knocked out of the overall structure, then they are often twisted into a spiral.
- If you stroke the pile of a woollen carpet, you will get a greasy feeling on the palm. The wool seems elastic and resilient. Synthetics threads creak and electrify when touched.
- Natural wool has a specific animal odour which remains for a long time while synthetics smell like chemicals.
The Easiest Way to Tell If a Carpet Is Wool
You need to do laboratory tests to determine the exact content of carpet materials but these tests are not necessary if you just want to check whether the carpet contains synthetics.
- Cut off some carpet fibres and light them.
- Allow the fibres to burn completely.
Natural wool fibres smoke a lot when burning and the ash crumbles easily in hands. Synthetics looks like it is melting while being burned at the same time forming a hard and sometimes sticky lump on the thread. It is very difficult to crumble the ash. Synthetics smells like burnt plastic.
Is Wool Carpet Better Than Synthetic?
When you ask yourself whether the wool carpet is better than synthetic, the answer will really depend on your preferences. If you are looking for practicality and functionality, synthetic carpets are better than wool carpets for you. If you or your family members are allergic to lots of things, it is better to choose synthetic carpet too.
However, if you are not planning to buy another carpet in the next 10 years and you are looking for a durable carpet, then the wool carpet is better for you than synthetic. Wool fibre is elastic and it has the ability to completely restore its shape. This natural resilience allows the wool carpet to withstand the daily stresses of moving furniture and walking. The elasticity of each wool fibre like a miniature spring ensures the durability of your carpet.
That said, I think it is important to highlight the main characteristics of wool and synthetic carpets so that you could choose the one that is better for you.
Wool Carpets Characteristics
Wool is soft and durable. It perfectly absorbs moisture and evaporates it being basically a natural air filter for your room. Wool has excellent elasticity and natural resistance to dirt, wear and deformation. Another distinctive quality is that it does not burn, but smoulders. In addition to its benefits as a flooring material, wool has a beneficial effect on human health.
The main disadvantage is cost. Wool rugs are generally more expensive than most other materials. In addition to this, the vibrant colours that are achieved in synthetic materials are not always achievable in wool. But if you are ready to buy a wool product, do not hesitate, you will not waste your money: over the years, high quality will pay off in full. Thus, wool rugs are a great option for a bedroom or living room. Do not put wool carpets in the bathroom as wool does not like humidity.
Synthetic Carpets Characteristics
Synthetic carpets are mainly made from polypropylene, polyester and acrylic fibres. Viscose cannot be called a fully synthetic material. Although it is obtained artificially, it is based on natural cellulose.
Of course, synthetics have become much better quality over time. Sometimes it is even hard to determine whether the carpet is made of natural or synthetic materials without touching it.
In general, synthetic carpets are comfortable and easy to use. They are not very demanding in maintenance. Synthetic carpets do not accumulate dust and dirt and do not absorb liquid. Moths do not eat synthetic carpets, unlike wool carpets. Synthetic carpets never cause allergic reactions and are safe for our health. Thanks to these qualities, synthetic rugs are a wonderful option for a lot of people.
Perhaps one of the main advantages of synthetic carpets is their affordable price. Among the disadvantages are low fire resistance and a shorter lifespan than wool carpets. But a synthetic carpet will serve you for many years with proper use and timely cleaning.