People have produced wool carpets for more than eighty centuries. When civilisation first adopted cattle and learned how to shear their soft wool, the resource was implemented into different works of weaving.
In the beginning, people lived in caves. Which was cool because this gave them some level of comfort. For instance, rain wasn’t falling on their heads and the giant man-eating cats that roamed the lands back then could only attack from one direction.
However, caves had one major disadvantage – their ‘floors’, if we can call them that, were cold. Which made the feet of the people living in them cold as well. But soon the primitive cave dwellers figured out that they can use the wool left from animal carcases as a floor covering. And that is probably how wool carpets came into existence.
What is a Wool Carpet
Wool carpets are predominantly weaved from sheep’s fur. Today, New Zealand’s breed, the Merino, is thought to be of best quality by many, but other breeds, such as the Shetland Wool from the Scottish Highlands, and the Merino sheep in Saxony, Vermont, South Africa and the island of Tasmania are no further behind.
Other than sheep wool, you can find different carpets weaved from the hair of other animals, such as llamas, alpacas, goats, camels and angora rabbits. Wool carpets are naturally resistant(resistant to what?) and highly durable. And, guess what – the material is a replenishable amenity.(unfinished sentence, needs some more clarification)
The Pros and Cons of Wool Carpets
Did you know that wool smells like it smells when it’s wet, because of the sulphur – one of the key ingredient elements that build up the structure of the fabric. Below we’ve weaved several more pros and cons on this type of carpets.
The distinctive smell of wet wool is due its sulphur contents. And here you can take a look at some of the positives and negatives that come with wool carpets.
Advantages of Wool Carpet
- Durability. Wool is resistant to heavy use and even if flocks of people stomp a wool carpet every single day, it will still appear beautiful. As long as you bought a well-made one.
- Inflammability. Wool might start to melt under high temperatures and fire, but in no way it will burn. Therefore, thanks to its flame concealing features, wool carpets find their place in many commercial building around the world.
- Absorbency. Wool comes in a variety of different dyes, so it’s easy enough to create wool carpets in different colours and shades, suiting to the admirer’s eye. This makes a wool carpet retain its shades over the years, and it simply looks pleasant. However, this is a double-edged sword – the absorbency works for any kind of liquids, including the undesirable ones such as wine or ink.
- Moisture resistance. Wool fibres are excellent at holding and releasing water. If liquids are poured onto the woollen carpet, its fibres will naturally swell, but when the moisture is released, they return back to normal size. Due to its natural draining properties, wool carpets do wonderful job at protecting the wooden floors from warping in more humid climates.
- Dirt resistance. This doesn’t mean the dirt will magically stay away from your carpet. However, the particles will get lost inside the wool, unlike the situation with other types of materials. It’s all due to the matte opaque structure of the fibres. They simply can’t reflect the light the same way as artificial materials do.
- Insulating quality. This is due to the indigenous ruffles of the wool.
Disadvantages of Wool Carpet
- High price. Whereas wool is not the most expensive product on the market, the costs for production and maintenance of the wool carpet make it a commodity for the affluent.
- No resistance to chemicals. If exposed to alkaline substances for a longer period of time, the carpet will lose its colour and the hair will harden. Another chemical that reacts in a dooming way with the wool is chlorine-based bleach. These facts make it a bit difficult to find a carpet cleaning solution with a fitting pH balance – something that won’t spoil the quality of the carpet but be effective enough to deal with stubborn stains. A neutral, water-based cleaning detergents that rank between 5 and 8 pH are recommended by our Fantastic carpet cleaners.
- Stain prone. As we mentioned before, it’s very easy to dye a wool carpet and the colour will stick with it for a very long time. However, that can become an issue if you spill wine, or ink on the carpet.
How to Clean a Wool Carpet Yourself
Something truly unique and authentic, such as a wool carpet, will also require truly unique and precise cleaning methods. Whereas in most of the cases, a professional cleaning company will be the most efficient solution, here we decided to offer you an interesting way to tackle the dirt on your, say, oriental wool rug.
First thing you got to know, a deep clean of a wool carpet is not an activity that must happen every week. You can adopt a 6-month cycle and, especially, if you have the advantage of having a real winter with lots of snow.
So, we decided to show you one fantastic method that’s completely natural and eliminates bacteria and dust mites. It works with hand-made and antique wool carpets, but you’re going to need an extra pair of hands, if you are going to clean a larger floor covering.
How to Clean Rugs with Snow
- Dust out the carpet well, then hang it outside so that it adapts to the low temperatures outside – it needs half an hour tops.
- Now place the carpet on the ground but be careful – for the method to work, you need deep snow cover, because otherwise the carpet will get dirty. See if you have enough space around you so you can work freely.
- Take a shovel and start sprinkling snow on the carpet. Cover it with a thin layer of snow and wait for it to start working. The combination of snow and ice-cold air will freeze all microbes, bacteria and annoying dust mites, which are nesting in your precious Persian rug.
- Let the carpet stay buried in the snow for around 20 minutes. After that, clean the snow from above and turn it backwards so that you can repeat the same procedure all over again.
- After another 20 minutes the carpet is ready to free itself from the snow hug. Shake it well and hang it for around half an hour.
- After the time passes, take the carpet, shake it again if there’s more snow on it and bring it back to the room. Due to the low temp and the snow’s structure, the carpet will be almost completely dry.
That’s a clever and sparing way of carpet cleaning. As you might know, the snow has the power to kill microbes that are exposed to it for a longer period of time. Results – freshness and no damage for your Persian rug.