“We are finally replacing wool carpeting installed in 1941.” This is a snippet from an email received March 29, 2012. We included this email not because it’s typical for wool carpet to last 71 years (it’s not) but because it gives a sense of the quality of wool carpet if properly cared for. Wool is the luxury carpet fiber, and anyone on a budget can save time by not reading this page. Those looking for the cream of the carpet crop, wool carpeting may be just what you desire.
The common theme with wool carpet is all of its advantages are natural. As you’ll read below, many of wool’s advantages are seen in nylon but wool’s advantages come straight off the sheep’s back, rather than from a factory coating.
Wool carpet’s ability to resist stains goes a step beyond other fibers. When properly treated, all fibers have a degree of stain resistance. Wool fiber naturally does a good job of repelling stains (treated nylon and Smartstrand carpets probably resist liquid stains better). In addition, wool does a good job of hiding soil stains and repelling oil stains, whereas the other fibers tend to attract oils. Oils are commonly tracked in from asphalt, garages, cooking agents (some even become airborne with heat or spray bottles), and they are even on our skin. Wool repels these oils, helping it maintain its clean appearance.
Wool and polyester carpet are the go to carpets when comfort is the highest priority. Wool is unique because it combines softness with springiness. Where many soft carpets crush easily, wool carpet maintains its comfort for years.
Wool carpet comes off the sheep’s back and can be manufactured without any dyes or synthetic chemicals. This makes it hypoallergenic (for those not allergic to wool) and great for parents who are concerned about exposing their kids to chemicals.
One way wool carpet might justify its cost is by reducing your heating and air conditioning bills. Wool is a great insulator, so it will limit the transfer of heat (or cool air) from the outside world into your home.
This was touched on in “unmatched comfort”, but wool carpet doesn’t matte down easily. This is one of the reasons for its great durability and long-standing comfort.
Wool doesn’t melt. It has a natural fire resistance. While this is a cool benefit, its practicality may be of little benefit. One “benefit” is it will not melt if you drop a cigarette on the carpet like other fibers will. The flaw in this is that if you invest in wool carpet, you’ll probably make sure people aren’t dropping their cigarettes on it. Also, while it may not burn up in a fire, it will surely be damaged by smoke and debris.
Fades in sun and absorbs water
Wool carpets have a couple of disadvantages: one is that it fades in the sun and the other is it absorbs water. You’ll want to avoid putting wool carpet in any room that gets constant sunlight. Exposing the carpet to a little sunlight here or there isn’t going to be a problem, just make sure to limit it. Another disadvantage is wool carpets hold water. This makes them prone to mildew, so avoid wool in any rooms with a moisture problem.
Captain’s parting words!
Wool is the luxury carpet fiber. It probably holds the most advantages over all fibers, but it requires a good sum of money to own it and a bit of care once it’s installed. Wool carpet is unique compared to the other high-end fibers, namely nylon and Smartstrand. What distinguishes wool is that it has more advantages such as being all natural, more comfortable, fire resistant, and arguably is as durable, but it requires more care. Typically, nylon and Smartstrand carpets take whatever you throw at them: spills, moving furniture, and constant foot traffic. It’s best to install wool in rooms where it will be treated a little more formally, and who knows, maybe it will last you 71 years too.