Wool has been a staple in clothing and floor coverings for hundreds of years, and it’s not hard to see why – it’s a renewable resource (i.e. sheep grow their coats back after being sheared), it does not harm animals, it’s durable, and it keeps us warm! But did you know that wool also keeps our air clean? It sounds like a sales tactic, but it’s true. It’s been estimated that wool carpets can continually purify indoor air for up to 30 years!
How does this happen? The wool fibers literally absorb pollutants and off-gasses in the air and bind them to the fiber structure, without re-emitting these pollutants back into the air at a later time. These fibers also hold particulates like dust mites, dander, and pollen in the carpet until they can be vacuumed up. Pretty cool, huh?
Other benefits of using wool carpets are that they buffer heat and moisture. When the air is excessively humid, it absorbs the excess moisture and releases it when the conditions are dry. In terms of heat, it feels warm underfoot and helps to insulate a space – reducing the heat transfer between floors.
Wool carpet is also easy to clean. That does not mean that it’s stain-resistant. However, compared to a lot of carpets (with the exception of Antron nylon solution-dyed) it’s very easy to extract spills/dirt from it, and it’s less likely to stain. Why? The natural oils on the wool fibers make the spills sit on top of the carpet for a longer period of time, rather than letting liquids seep into the base of the pile and backing. In addition, the fiber structure itself allows the fibers to release dirt up to 25% more readily than synthetic fiber carpets.
Lastly, wool fibers have the ability to “bounce back”. This means that the fibers don’t get crushed or matted over time. Instead, your rugs can look as plush for many years to come.
Researchers speculate that knotted wool rugs were first made in Asia 4,000 – 5,000 years ago. Little did they know how genius their decision was to use this fiber that still offers so many benefits compared to its newer counterparts!