There are many kinds of fibres available for carpets today, ranging from all natural to all synthetic and everything in between. Wool is one of the oldest types of carpet, and has the advantage of coming from an easily renewable source. So why should you choose wool for your carpet? Why not? Below is a list of advantages and disadvantages so that you can make an informed decision when considering wool carpet for your home or business.
Environmental Advantages: Wool carpets are made from sheep's wool, an animal that is farmed all over the world, including Australia. Sheep need to be shorn a couple of times a year, so depriving them of their wool is not cruel. As noted above, this means that it is easily renewable and doesn't have the same effect on the environment that synthetic fibre production has. Additionally, wool fibre is naturally hollow, which makes it a good insulator. As such, wool carpets will keep homes cool in summer and warm in winter, potentially leading to a reduction in power bills and your carbon footprint. To make sure your wool carpets are environmentally responsible, research brands and distributors that are Australian based.
Environmental Disadvantages: Wool does require processing, and the dyes that are used are often synthetic. It is also important to keep in mind that sheep are not native to Australia, and can cause damage to the environment if they are not responsibly farmed. Using animal products is also against the lifestyle of vegans, so while you may not be a vegan yourself, consider whether this might affect the resale value of your home or cause discomfort to your family or friends.
Lifestyle Advantages: Wool is fire resistant, which makes it a safe choice for homes with open fireplaces (though it is never recommended that you have carpet right up to a fireplace). Wool does not show the dirt as much as synthetic carpeting, and the reason for this is the opacity of the carpet fibre, which doesn't reflect light. The soft appearance makes dirt less visible to the human eye. Wool is also naturally elastic and certain twists stand up well to heavy traffic. For this reason, wool is often used in expensive hotels, as it if both luxurious and efficient. Wool, as a natural fibre, is easily dyed, is available in many colours and can achieve impressive vibrancy. Depending on the dye used, wool carpet is an excellent choice for people with synthetic sensitivities.
Lifestyle Disadvantages: As wool is so readily dyed, it will also stain quickly. Some chemicals will also dissolve wool, such as chlorine bleach. As such, it is important that wool carpet owners are familiar with correct cleaning procedures, as prompt cleaning is necessary to prevent staining. Good quality wool is quite expensive, due to the careful and extensive processing it requires. Cheap wool is susceptible to discolouration and 'fuzzing', and requires replacing sooner than good quality wool. As such, cheap wool is not an economical choice. Wool will also smell unpleasant when it gets damp, so if you live in a humid or area with a high air-moisture level it may not be a good choice.
Wool is one of the oldest fibres used by humankind, and has many advantages, but it is also important to consider the disadvantages. Depending on your lifestyle and your environmental concerns, wool could be an excellent carpeting choice for your home or business. Make sure you are aware of where and how your wool is produced, what kinds of dyes are used and what kind of carpet style would be right for the area you plan on carpeting. For more information, contact a company like Kelwin Coastal Carpets.