Strong, resilient and with a cosy underfoot feel — there are many reasons to select wool carpets. In order to select a wool carpet that ticks all these boxes, though, there are a few things you’ll need to be aware of.
There are many reasons to choose wool carpets for your next commercial carpet project. Wool, a natural fibre, is known for being strong, stain and indentation resistant, energy efficient and comfortable in a way that is simply unmatched by synthetic materials.
At their best, wool carpets have a remarkable ability to last - remaining vibrant in colour and condition - over long stretches of time, with very little maintenance required.
In order to ensure all of these qualities, though, it’s important that you select high-quality wool carpets, made with the proper manufacturing methods.
Our Global Account Manager Kim Monrad answers our most frequently asked questions about carpets. In this video, Kim explains what you should be aware of when choosing wool carpets.
When you’re considering a wool carpet, before you buy, be sure to ask your carpet manufacturer about the quality of the specific carpet you’re considering. The quality of wool can vary quite a bit, making the difference between a carpet you love and wasted money.
The benefits that you can reap from wool only stand if you can be sure the wool carpet you’ve selected is of high enough quality. Be aware, the higher quality may also affect the price. This added expense, though, is necessary if you’re to get all the benefits of choosing wool carpets in the first place.
When you’re considering the quality of wool, generally speaking, you should be looking at three main variables: the length of the fibre, the purity of the fibre and the colour of the wool. Let’s take a closer look at these three variables:
The length of the fibre in wool carpets is a good indication of the strength of the carpet. The longer the fibre, the stronger the wool. With shorter fibres, you can’t be sure you’ll get the strength that wool carpeting is so known for, in your final carpet.
When selecting a wool carpet, you’ll also need to be sure you select a pure wool. Any imperfection in the wool will be obvious in the final carpet.
You should also be mindful of the colour of the wool, when selecting a wool carpet. The lighter the wool you select, the easier it is to achieve pure and uniform colour in your carpet design. Many manufacturers try to lighten their wool by bleaching it. While bleaching wool does lighten it, it also degrades the fibres, making for a lesser product. We strongly urge against selecting wool that has been bleached.
In addition to ensuring a high-quality wool, you also need to be paying attention to manufacturing processes, such as the spinning and setting of the wool, to be sure that you’ll get a final carpet that you’re happy with.
The spinning of the wool - or the amount of times the wool is spun per yard or meter - is important for the ultimate strength of your carpet. The more times the wool has been spun, the stronger it will be.
Likewise, the setting of the wool is important for the final strength of the carpet. When you neglect to set wool, the yarns unravel, compromising the strength of your carpet, as fibres must work individually. When you set the wool, however, yearns stay in tact, meaning that fibres can bind, working together to create a strong final product.
When you ensure that your wool carpets are of high quality and have been spun and set correctly, you’re protecting them from a phenomenon called shading, also known as pile reversal. This is when the pile of the carpet becomes flat because of a lack of structural integrity, due to low strength.
Shading is a problem, for one, because it means you won’t have the high strength that wool is generally known for. Above this, though, it will also dramatically change the look of the carpet, causing it to look darker - or even wet - in affected areas.
Shading is the result of a low-quality wool carpet and can occur immediately upon installation of a carpet. This means that even if you’ve saved money by purchasing the lower-quality wool, that savings has essentially gone out the window, as your final carpet is not up to your standards and will not last.
To the contrary, when you purchase a high-quality wool - and ensure that it has been properly spun and set - you may pay more upfront, but you’ll have a product you’re delighted with for years to come.