The good nature of New Zealand wool
Sheep outnumber people in New Zealand 13 to 1 and are a natural icon for the country. Living in the green hills and gentle, unpolluted climate, sheep enjoy unique natural advantages that enable them to grow incredibly beautiful, superior wool.
As the world's largest exporter of wool for carpets, New Zealand farmers have access to a vast repository of research and a strong legacy of wool harvesting skills. Such expertise ensures that their techniques impose minimum environmental impact and guarantees better animal care.
New Zealand wool used to manufacture products that carry the Wools of New Zealand mark carpets is one of the purest, most ecological fibers in the world. To produce this biodegradable and renewable resource, only environmentally responsible production methods are used. And the manufacturing process and the products themselves must conform to environmental requirements in the country of consumption.
Through the research of WRONZ (Wool Research organization of New Zealand), New Zealand wool is scoured using the most energy and water-efficient system in the world. Moreover, scientific land management and flock rotation ensure that the land will nurture this natural fiber for generations to come.
No internationally banned pesticides are used on New Zealand sheep farms. Since 1993, pesticide levels have been cut in half, making New Zealand's sheep industry one of the world's greenest animal production systems. Any slight residue on the product is removed during the scouring process.
So when you see the Wools of New Zealand mark, you will know it is applied only to wool carpets meeting the highest quality — and environmental — standards.
How should a carpet be chosen?
Carpet choice is based on your personal taste and the needs around your home or office. A clear understanding of your needs will help you choose a carpet that is best for you. By considering the following factors, you will be on the right path to making an informed decision.
Fashion vs function What is your style or décor theme?
Do you want the latest colour options?
Do you want a plain or textured effect?
Do you want a functional, hardwearing carpet?
Outdoor/indoor environment Are the paths around your home or office sealed or unsealed?
What is the likelihood of dirt and grime being tracked in?
Do you entertain in some rooms more than others?
Children and pets Do you have a family that spends a lot of time at home?
What are the high traffic areas around your home?
What is the likelihood of staining (from mud, food, etc)?
Is the carpet for a home or business environment? Do you want to create a certain style?
In a business environment, does the carpet have to comply with any building regulations such as flammability?
What is your budget? This is one of the most important questions of all!
Which is better: wool or synthetic carpet?
Both fibres have great characteristics; neither fibre is better than the other. A quality carpet is made with superior materials through a well-monitored manufacturing process using the latest technology. This level of craftsmanship will produce a carpet that offers maximum performance.
When selecting a carpet to satisfy your needs, you should consider factors such as style and texture, colour, durability and carpet grading. To find out more about the characteristics and benefits of wool/synthetic fibres, please click here.
How do I know what is a good carpet?
Irrespective of the style, colour and type of fibre you like, you can check the quality of the carpet and see whether it has been graded by an independent carpet grading program. The main bodies in Australia are the Australian Carpet Classification Scheme (ACCS) and the Woolmark/Woolblend Mark Scheme. The Carpet Institute of Australia offers more information on these classsification schemes.
How wide is carpet? How do I know how much I need?
The standard width for carpet in Australia is 3.66 metres; however, some styles of carpet can be produced in widths of 4 metres. The reason for this width measurement is that the machines used to produce carpet are constructed to allow 12 feet (or 3.66 metres) of carpet to be manufactured. There are only a limited number of machines in Australia that are capable of producing 4 metre width carpet.
Do you need a special vacuum cleaner for different types of carpet?
It is important to vacuum your carpet thoroughly and frequently, particularly in high traffic areas. Vacuum cleaners fitted with micro filter systems ensure fine particles (such as dustmite allergens) are removed and stay in the collection bag, which is particularly important if you are dust sensitive.
We recommend that you use a different vacuum cleaner for different styles of carpet. For low cut pile carpets, we suggest a vacuum cleaner with a rotating brush that agitates the pile and loosens the soil for easier carpet maintenance. When vacuuming loop pile, cut-loop pile or berber carpet, we recommend that you turn the brush off or change the head to prevent excess fuzzing.
Ensure the vacuum is kept in sound mechanical condition and brushes are cleaned and replaced when worn. Regularly check and adjust the height of beaters (if fitted) to ensure the carpet is not damaged by excessive beating. Su ction efficiency of vacuum cleaners is reduced considerably when bags are half full. Change or empty dust collection bags frequently and replace filters as recommended by the manufacturer.
Do I need stain protection on wool carpets?
In a word, NO! Wool carpet has long been known for its natural ability to resist dirt, stains and spills. This means that stain resistance treatments are usually unnecessary. With its unique and complex structure, wool's hard, microscopic external fibre scales give your carpet natural stain and soil resistance.
Wool is one of the most forgiving and easiest fibres to clean and maintain. As wool does not easily attract lint, vacuum cleaning is easier. In wet cleaning, fibres swell and release dirt particles.
Who will install my new carpet?
We recommend a local installer. There are usually many available but we suggest that you ask around to see who has used which installers and then visit their homes to see the job that was done. If you can't find anyone with references, then go to the next installer. Can't find anyone? Try the local health food store. They usually have names posted or some one knows where to find reliable installers.
All carpet should be installed on new underlay that is compatible with the quality, and proposed use, of your carpet and otherwise in accordance with Australian Standards Association Carpet Installation Recommendations AS2455-1995 and the Godfrey Hirst Carpets Recommendations for Installing Tufted Carpet unless otherwise specified.
Why does the color of carpet look different at home?
Lighting can change your perception of carpet colour, making it look like particular areas are lighter or darker than others. The lighting environment between a carpet retail store and your home may also vary, therefore we recommend that you take a sample of carpet and view it in your home for colour before making your final purchasing decision.
Also, during use, pressure on carpet pile causes the pile to lie in different directions creating the effect of "shading". This shading is a characteristic of cut-pile carpets (particularly solid colour). While affecting appearance, it has no detrimental effect on the performance of the carpet.
Will the color of my carpet fade over time?
Carpets, like all dyed textiles, will slowly lose colour over time when exposed to direct sunlight; therefore, it should be protected from prolonged periods of direct sunlight. Colour change can also occur when carpet is exposed to ozone, emissions from heating fuels and air conditioners, pesticides, cleaning agents, benzol peroxide and other household items. This occurrence, known as ozone damage, is largely unexplained but appears to be more prevalent in coastal areas with a high ultra-violet content.
Does having carpet in a house increase airborne dust levels, thus increasing risk to people suffering from asthma and other dust-related allergies?
It has yet to be proven that there is a significant increase in the levels of airborne dust between carpeted and non-carpeted homes. More significantly, there is a misapprehension that having carpet in the home will increase in the exposure to dustmite allergens when in fact there are a range of other triggers in the home that can increase exposure and cause a respiratory reaction.
The Carpet Institute of Australia has provided an information sheet to assist consumers to better understand the issues related to Allergens in the home.