A complex natural fibre long favoured for its beauty, versatility and durability. Not only is a wool carpet comfy underfoot, it has thermal insulation properties meaning it’s warm in winter yet cool in summer. The ideal flooring solution for a home, wool carpets deliver wellbeing and health benefits and have strong environmental as well as practical credentials too.
Wool is hypoallergenic. Dust mite allergens are one of the triggers for asthma attacks, but wool is hygroscopic meaning it has microscopic pores that respond effectively to changes in humidity (it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and then releases it again when it’s drier). This means it doesn’t encourage the growth and breeding of dust mites as well as mould and fungus.
The health properties don’t end there. Wool has been found to have the ability to absorb a range of potentially harmful chemicals and pollutants including formaldehyde, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from the air. Not only does it neutralise these contaminants more quickly and completely than synthetic carpet fibres, it does not re-emit them, even when heated. It is estimated that wool used in interiors may help purify the air for 30 years.
As a natural fibre, wool generates little or no static electricity. Static typically attracts dirt and dust meaning the surface of a carpet made from 100% wool should stay cleaner for longer.
The impact of noise on our wellbeing is becoming better recognised. Most of us want our homes to be sanctuaries, places of quiet retreat from a noisy world. As more of us are now working from home, the ambient levels of noise in a house is starting to have an effect on our ability to concentrate, as well as contributing to stress levels and reducing overall productivity.
Researchers have found that wool carpets provide excellent acoustic properties — it’s why you find them in nearly all cinemas, cars and planes. Whereas sound is reflected from hard surfaces, the porosity of the surface of wool carpets means that sound waves penetrate into the pile rather than being reflected back, creating a more peaceful environment.
Wool is a natural fibre grown on sheep that freely roam in fields and hills across the countryside eating little more than grass. Sheep re-grow their fleece every year, making wool eco-friendly and one of the most sustainable fibres available.
The raw materials for synthetic fibres, in contrast, come from petroleum-based chemicals. It’s also true that there is significantly less energy used during wool processing for 100% wool carpets, when compared with manufacturing man-made fibres. This lower energy for manufacturing could lower the embodied carbon of the material, which will reduce the carbon impact on the earth — making it the choice for those wishing to live a green lifestyle.
As anyone who has it installed in their lofts knows, wool has excellent insulation properties. Choosing a natural flooring made of wool will go some way to reducing heat transfer through floors meaning it can help to lower heating bills and lighten the carbon footprint of a house.