You probably already know that carpet is the #1 flooring choice in NZ, providing warmth, soundproofing, cushioning underfoot and a polished look to your room. But with so many options, deciding which type is right for your budget and your needs can be overwhelming. Should you invest in wool or choose nylon or polyester fibre? To help you make the right flooring choice for your needs, let's take a look at the pros and cons of NZ wool made carpets.
The Pros of Wool Carpets
A properly maintained wool carpet easily outlasts its synthetic competitors. Each wool fibre is naturally coiled. It has the ability to stretch and bounce back just like a tiny spring. Unlike most manmade fibres that eventually matte because of day-to-day traffic, natural wool retains thickness and springiness over a longer period.
Whatever look you prefer: bold and vibrant or muted and neutral, colour retention is crucial to long-term appearance. Natural wool carpets sustain their initial colour over years of use with the latest carpet featuring add fade resistence. The secret is a protein-based structure of fibre that absorbs dye and locks it in for ages.
Natural wool flooring has a high level of water-based stains resistance. Because its overlapping structure repels dirt and liquids by creating a shield holding most of the stains near the top of the carpet's surface, giving you a better opportunity to clean the carpet successfully.
Wool naturally resists odour. The natural fibre has the ability to absorb moisture and release it into the air before bacteria start to develop and produce unpleasant odours.
Wool is a natural and rapidly renewable material. Sheep grow a new fleece every year, with no nasty chemicals involved. As a natural fibre, it can be easily recycled or just returned to the soil to continue nature's cycle.
NZ wool producers care about our future., For example, Wools of New Zealand uses selected sheep breeds and a unique breeding methodology; their fibre's greenhouse gas contribution is 28% lower than that of wool grown in the UK.
The cons of Wool Carpet
The most common reason people choose synthetic over natural flooring is the price difference. Natural wool carpets can be pricey as the most desirable types of wool flooring could cost up to twice as much as manmade options. Consider it an investment in a better earth, and a long lasting carpet.
As we mentioned before, it's effortless to dye a wool carpet, and the colour will stick with it for a very long time. And this fantastic quality can become an issue if you spill red wine or ink on the floor. Act on that spill quickly to avoid this issue.
While wool carpet has a certain resistance to spilt liquids, larger amounts of water may waterlog your flooring. As wool tends to retain fluid, this can result in mould. But to be fair, mould can also become a problem on synthetic carpets too. So any carpet floor covering is definitely not the best option for rooms frequently exposed to water such as a bathroom.
Wool flooring will release fibres over its lifetime, especially when it's new. This can look alarming and even a little annoying, but it won't affect how the carpet looks long-term. Proven manufacturers like Wools of New Zealand and Bremworth have guarantees thatl their carpets won't lose more than 10% of it’s fibre in 10 years in heavy traffic areas of your home.
Moth and carpet beetle feed on wool fibres. Wool carpeting is often permanently pre-treated with a mild insecticide called Permethrin to prevent damage from these pests. It’s worth mentioning that the WHO conducted research and found no adverse effects related to this insecticide on health. Regular vacuum cleaning of all areas of your wool carpet will help prevent this (yes, you have to get under the couches…)
To conclude, natural wool carpet has pros that outweigh the cons and is everything synthetic counterparts only wish they could be. Although it costs more than nylon or polypropylene alternatives, you can always find a good deal at Harrisons Carpet & Flooring Specials page.