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One of the most common questions I receive about wool rugs is if they’re worth it. Not only cost wise but also when we’re talking durability. Wool rugs are often far more expensive than a synthetic rug, so it’s important to figure out if it makes sense for you and your lifestyle.
In this post, I’m going to cover nine important considerations to think about before investing in a wool rug. And I call it an investment, because they are expensive and can really last a lifetime if taken care of properly… so it truly is an investment piece!
Wool rugs are made from natural wool fibers that come from a sheep. Sheep grow wool continuously to protect them from the weather, and wool is a natural product of the sheep. Don’t worry, shearing doesn’t harm the sheep whatsoever- their lifestyle is actually improved when they are sheared. Shearing helps to keep the sheep cool in the warmer months and also reduces the risk of infections and diseases.
Wool rugs are a top choice if you’re looking for a material that is eco-friendly. Sheep naturally grow new wool over time when sheared, so this process uses very little energy compared to rugs that are made from synthetic materials.
Wool is not only renewable because the sheep naturally grow wool, but the fibers also break down naturally. If you ever want to part with your wool rug, you won’t be contributing to landfills. The wool fibers biodegrade in the soil, producing nutrients like nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and sulfur that benefit plants. Pretty cool, right?
Wool rugs are expensive due to their premium quality as a natural fiber, intricate craftsmanship, use of natural dyes, and their long-lasting durability. These rugs often require a skilled artisans time and effort, and their production costs can be higher, especially when imported.
Despite the initial cost, wool rugs are considered an investment piece because they can last decades. With proper care, including regular cleaning, vacuuming, and maintenance, wool rugs can last generations.
Wool rugs can shed because of loose fibers left from the manufacturing process. This shedding is a natural occurrence and should decrease over time. To prevent excessive shedding, vacuum your wool rug regularly using a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar or brush attachment.
Wool possesses hypoallergenic qualities, making it unlikely to cause allergic reactions to individuals exposed to it. This unique property can be attributed to the microscopic pockets present within wool fibers, although they remain unseen to the naked eye. These pockets trap dust, fungal spores, and pollen that are present in the air.
By capturing and retaining these particles within its fibers, wool ensures that the air you breathe remains free from these common allergens.
Wool contains natural oils and moisture. This unique composition gives wool its ability to resist flames without needing synthetic fire-resistant chemicals.
While wool can catch fire if directly exposed to a flame, it does so very slowly, and the fire doesn’t sustain itself for long. The moisture and oils in wool act to put out the flame and hinder its spread. Importantly, wool doesn’t melt or stick to the floor like synthetic rugs do.
Wool naturally contains a protective layer called lanolin. This lanolin layer acts as a shield against dirt and stains, preventing them from penetrating the wool fibers, which keeps any soil mostly on or near the surface. As a result, cleaning oil-based spills on wool is typically easy. However, beware that water-based stains, especially ones with a bright colors like wine or coffee, can be harder to get out. They should be blotted with a damp or dry cloth and cleaned only using water. When in doubt, call a professional to help treat the stains so your wool rug stays in tip-top shape.
Typically, when you’re shopping for a wool rug, you’ll come across two types of wool- New Zealand Wool and Indian wool.
New Zealand wool is prized for its premium quality and long fibers that are softer to the touch. Why is this? Because New Zealand sheep are raised in environments where there is natural humidity, which makes the wool softer.
On the other hand, Indian wool offers a broader range in quality and cost, making it a versatile choice for various budgets and styles.
1. Heritage Rug via Lulu & Georgia
2. Brockton Solid Tan Wool Rug via Boutique Rugs (more colors available)
3. Reims Solid Border Wool Rug via Walmart (more colors available)
5. Geller Rug via Lulu & Georgia
2. Keziah Rug
There you have it- nine important things to consider and what you really need to know before buying a wool rug. I hope this post was helpful for you to determine if a wool rug is worth it and the right fit for you and your lifestyle. If you want more info on wool rugs, I wrote another blog post where I talk more in depth about the pros and cons. And, of course, if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below! I always look forward to hearing from you.
Until next time,