Wool carpet remains one of the most popular flooring choices for customers today, with its comfort, quality and durability making it a safe bet for any home or business. In this guide, we take a look at the different types of wool carpet and the numerous benefits it offers, along with some advice on how to keep it in the very best condition.
Types of wool carpet
There are two main types of wool carpet: 100% wool carpet and 80/20 wool mix carpet. Both types can be produced in broadloom (a traditional wall-to-wall carpet) or as carpet tiles.
100% wool carpet
Also known as natural wool carpet, 100% wool carpet is most commonly woven using pure sheep’s wool. However, 100% wool carpets can also be produced with the fur of other animals, including alpacas, llamas, goats and camels.
Sheep breeds in the UK and New Zealand produce the best wool for natural wool carpets, which is why many carpets contain both British and New Zealand wool.
80/20 wool carpet
Although wool carpet is strong enough on its own, it’s sometimes combined with other man-made fibres, such as nylon, to create a hybrid product. This is widely known as 80/20 wool carpet, but may also be referred to as wool mix or wool blend carpet.
There are various reasons a manufacturer may choose to blend wool with synthetic materials, from improving fibre flexibility, durability and stain resistance to facilitating dyeing or printing.
The benefits of wool carpet
Wool has been one of the leading materials for making carpet for centuries, and for good reason. Here are some of the main benefits of wool carpets.
Wool has a natural elasticity and robustness that makes it incredibly durable. While synthetic fibres are eventually matted down by heavy furniture and foot traffic, wool carpets can retain their original thickness and springiness for many years. They’re also a lot less susceptible to tracking marks and shading.
Wool carpet is a sound choice for anyone with a dust allergy or asthma. The tiny scales on the wool’s fibres can hold fine dust until it is vacuumed, minimising the number of floating particles. As well as its hypoallergenic qualities, the thickness of wool gives it extra grip, which helps with balance, posture and accident prevention.
Wool carpet is naturally fire-resistant and has an incredibly high ignition point compared to other fibres. This means it is better able to withstand dropped matches, cigarettes, sparks and other sources of fire, making it a safe option for both domestic and commercial premises.
Not only is wool a natural and renewable product, but it is also recyclable and biodegradable. The production of wool is very energy efficient compared to other materials such as nylon, and its insulating qualities help reduce heat loss and heating costs in winter. It can also absorb around 30% of its weight in moisture and stay dry, making it a cheap and efficient humidifier (and dehumidifier). One of wool’s greatest properties in terms of sustainability is the fact that it’s biodegradable and breaks down in soil, making it far kinder to the planet than rival materials such as nylon or polyester.
As well as making homes feel warm and cosy in the winter, wool carpet feels incredibly comfortable and luxurious underfoot. Wool can also absorb sound; cushioning homes and offices against echoes and the noise of other people talking or moving around.
How to clean a wool carpet yourself
A wool carpet adds a touch of class and quality to any property, so you’ll want to keep it in perfect condition. Here are some top tips on maintaining and cleaning your wool carpet:
Running a vacuum cleaner over your wool carpet on a weekly basis will prevent any dust or dirt being pushed down into the fibres, while maintaining the carpet’s cleanliness. A cylindrical brush vacuum cleaner is the best option for wool carpets. Make sure to regularly check the vacuum bag, belts and brushes to keep your vacuum performing efficiently.
Remove stains quickly and correctly
It can be easy to panic after spilling a glass of red wine on your lovely wool carpet, but taking the appropriate steps should prevent any lasting damage. Avoid scrubbing or rubbing the stain at all costs – instead, cover the stain with white vinegar or baking soda, before removing any excess with a WoolSafe-approved product. Different steps are required for other stains, so make sure to search online first.
This is the best way to maintain the longevity of your wool carpet. The frequency of a deep clean will depend on how much ‘traffic’ it gets; while domestic wool carpets houses only tend to require a deep clean once a year, commercial settings with heavier traffic will require one every month or six months. It’s advisable to hire a professional rather than doing it yourself.
Keep dirt at the door
Most dirt comes from outside, so keeping as much of it outdoors as possible is a surefire way to protect your wool carpet. Placing doormats outside and inside your front door, and giving them a regular shake out, should do the trick.
Make use of regular household items
You don’t need any sort of specialist equipment to take good care of your carpet; just a few key items to keep on hand in the cupboard in case you ever need to urgently address a stain!
While wool detergent is preferable, you can use natural cleaning solutions such as baking soda or white vinegar to dab the stain before blotting out the moisture. If you find mud caked into your carpet, allow it to dry before cleaning or vacuuming it up. The trick is to always avoid rubbing a stain, regardless of what the offending substance is. Lift away solids with a dull edge like a spoon or spatula, and always dab or blot liquids. Remember to test any new cleaning solution before using it on the entire carpet, to ensure it doesn’t cause any of the colouring to bleed or disappear.
Ready to enjoy the luxury of a wool carpet?
At Donnelly Watson, we stock a comprehensive range of wool carpets from leading brands such as Cormar, Brockway and Cavalier.
Feel free to visit our showroom in Ipswich where you can browse the full selection and speak to our team about your options. Alternatively, please don’t hesitate to get in touch to book a free consultation or home visit.