Wool Carpet Facts And Myths
Fibres and yarns used in carpet
Carpet can be made from many single or blended natural and synthetic fibres. Fibres are chosen for durability, appearance, ease of manufacture, and cost. In terms of scale of production, the dominant yarn constructions are polyamides (nylons) and polypropylene with an estimated 90% of the commercial market.
Gases produced by the burning of fossil fuels and by emissions from certain building components pollute the indoor air. Among these gases are nitrous oxides, sulfur dioxide and formaldehyde. Wool chemically reacts with these gases, neutralizing and binding them irreversibly in its structure. Scientific studies by Canesis, the US Gas Research Institute, The UK Atomic Energy Research Establishment, show that wool has considerable capacity for absorbing and retaining formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide providing a natural means of improving and maintaining indoor air quality. This may in turn be reflected in the improved health and comfort of those living indoors and has wider implications for the control of Sick Building Syndrome. The most prevailing thing about carpet fibers is that wool carpet is the best material you can put in your home. Wool has excellent durability, can be dyed easily and is fairly abundant. When blended with synthetic fibers such as nylon the durability of wool is increased. Blended wool yarns are extensively used in production of modern carpet, with the most common blend being 80% wool to 20% synthetic fiber, giving rise to the term “80/20”. Wool Carpet can be expensive compared with other synthetic carpet materials. There are however many choices and selections available at Canadian Flooring & Renovation that will compete favourably with Nylon carpets.
Wool’s a real stand up fiber so foot traffic, or the weight of furniture will not compromise its crush-proof good looks for years to come. Looking at each wool fiber one sees a three-dimensional spiraling crimp that gives it natural elasticity. This elasticity means that a wool fiber can stretch up to 30% more than its original length and then bounce back – similar to characteristics of a spring. Wool reacts the same way when it’s compressed due its inherent resilient characteristic. This natural resilience enables wool carpet to withstand all the day-to-day traffic you can give it. And wool carpets recover easily from the unsightly crushing caused by furniture. The resiliency of each wool fiber contributes greatly to the superior appearance retention of wool carpet.
Wool protects sheep from nature’s elements. And the qualities that keep flocks warm and dry also protect your carpet from life’s little accidents –spots and spills. Nature indeed created wool to be a miracle fiber. The membrane that is so waterproof still allows the fiber to absorb moisture in vapor form. Due to this absorbency, wool carpets tend to resist static electricity — and that’s the not-so-shocking truth!
The high moisture content of the fiber, along with wool’s protein constituents, give wool carpets excellent natural flame resistance. Wool fiber does not support combustion – it is difficult to ignite and is self-extinguishable. Charring can be easily brushed away. As well as being extremely safe, wool carpets retain their appearance even after minor burn damage from fireplace embers or cigarettes.
Ok so you are thinking about the kids, the dog, theevery day traffic and wonder whether wool carpet is the best choice. Wool carpet can withstand everyday foot (and paw) traffic and still keep its good looks. Under a microscope, you can see wool fiber’s structure. It’s made up of overlapping scales arranged like roof shingles. These scales keep dust and dirt near the surface of the pile where it can easily be released by vacuuming. Fiber abrasion can also cause carpet to soil. But that’s minimized with wool carpet because relatively few soil particles actually reach the base of the pile which is yet another factor contributing to the superior appearance retention of wool carpet.
New Zealand wool is naturally the world’s whitest wool. And the whiter the wool, the better it is for dying because it allows complete color saturation and continuity. Wool’s chemical structure ensures that color is drawn right into the core of the fiber where it becomes locked in a molecular bond. This means that wool carpet colors have superior fastness. Wool fibers’ natural affinity for dyestuffs makes a myriad of colors and design combinations possible!