Looking for a carpet material that is elegant and luxurious? Then wool may be the carpet for you. Wool is more expensive than any other carpet, and is usually made from the hair of sheep, although alpaca, goats, and llamas are also used.
Wool carpet has an excellent “memory”, largely because the hairs grow in spirals allowing them to link together well when twisted into tufts.
Wool has several other advantages. Dust mites do not seem to care for it, it insulates well, and because it absorbs and releases moisture it can act somewhat as a natural humidifier. It is also made from a sustainable resource meaning that it is wool carpet is better for the environment than other carpet materials.
While wool carpet can last for decades, it requires high maintenance. This usually means professional cleaning as well, in order to catch and abate problems before they permanently damage the carpet.
Wool can absorb protein-based stains such as blood and meat. It’s also sensitive to coffee, tea and wine stains. On the other hand, the fibers tend to bend light, which can help hide mild stains.
Wool is more fire-resistant than synthetics, which can make it a good choice where there are smokers present.
Wool is susceptible to static-electricity, so wool is not a good choice for a room with computers.
Most wool carpets are now moth-proofed, but you should check with your supplier to make sure this is the case.
See our entire series on Choosing Your Carpet.
As noted earlier, wool absorbs and releases moisture. In a moisture-rich environment this can be a decided disadvantage, as wool can absorb up to ten times its weight in water. This makes it susceptible to mold and mildew. As result it can pick up odors as well. If it does get wet it can shrink. It is often best used for area rugs rather than full-room carpeting.
Wool is best used in low-traffic areas, and is not a good choice for locations where children and pets are present.