STRENGTH + SUSTAINABILITY = WHY WE HEART WOOL
Wool is by far the strongest fiber choice. Us rug nerds tend to rate fibers by their “bend-break point”. A single strand of wool fiber can bend 20,000 times before it breaks! REAL SILK comes in a distant second at 2,000 and our FAUX SILK RAYON fibers (like Viscose, Silkette, Bamboo Silk, etc.) come in last at 70 bends per break. No other rug fiber types come close to wool when it comes to strength and durability.
Wool is a renewable resource which is sheared from sheep (and others such as goats, llamas, etc). Sheep need to be sheared regularly because their coat grows each year. Wool rugs last longer, which cuts down on waste tremendously (rather than buying a “disposable rug” every 2 years AND can go longer in between cleanings). It is also biodegradable and compostable.
Wool takes to dyes very well and can achieve any color scheme you want. Antique wool rugs were often colored with the use of vegetal dyes from plants such as flowers, leaves and other vegetation. We use synthetic dyes now, and some new modern rugs are popular for their use of “undyed, all natural wool” with many choices of white and gray yarns. When we get wool rugs that bleed in the wash process, this is often a result of poor dyes used or too much dye. The wool yarns can only hold so much dye, so when a rug is overdyed (commonly red or blue) those are “homeless dyes” that are loose and will bleed during a wash. But not to worry…we are fully equipped to handle bleeders like that.
Wool is the best fiber choice for hiding dirt and dry soil. We remove pounds of dirt from wool rugs each day during our dusting processes. The rug may not even appear soiled, because the dirt is hiding the cuticle of the wool hairs or down in the knots. For this reason, wool rugs last longer in between cleanings.
Wool rugs have a wonderful ability to bounce back to life after proper maintenance and grooming because the fibers are so strong they will stand back up. Unlike synthetic fibers which perform like plastic and are notorious for crush marks, crease marks from folding/shipping, and permanent furniture marks. If we run into creases and furniture marks in a well-made wool rug, we have a much better chance for restoring the look and feel.
Wool is hair and it likes to be washed! We stand by our full submersion hand washing processes here at Rug Worx and we are not scared to get wool wet. BONUS: it cleans up way better than ALL other fiber types too!
We are busting a myth here folks…wool is naturally hypoallergenic. If someone is experiencing allergies to wool it may be whatever the sheep got into, poor dyes used (that may contain formaldehyde), improper washing, or chemicals that were used in the making of the rug.
Did you know that wool is the only rug fiber which is naturally flame retardant? How cool! This is why it is the only choice used for carpets found in commercial spaces, hotels and aircrafts.
in our opinion, are Hand Knotted/Woven Wool rugs which can last generations if taken care of. I have a 120 year old rug hanging over my computer as I type, and one hanging in the back of the rug shop. No other fiber/construction type could have lasted that long AND remained beautiful. Beautifully imperfect, unique, timeless, and the most bang for your buck!