Wool: The Natural, Renewable Choice
by Wools of New Zealand
Wool is durable, resilient, affords comfort and safety — and it's a renewable resource! New Zealand wool is the purest, cleanest, whitest wool in the world. And the better the fiber, the better the carpet.
So whether you choose wool because it is ecological, beautiful or inherently superior to other fibers, it is the natural choice for carpets and rugs in your home or commercial environment. And it doesn't matter if you are on the French Rivièra or in the Alps, wool performs wonderfully in all climates!
Wool vs. synthetic fibre
The value of wool is as long-lasting as the fiber itself. Inherently flame retardant, resistant to dirt and crushing, it is naturally superior to synthetics. See for yourself!
The weaknesses of nylon (polyamide) are:
- Inferior handle (feel) compared to wool
- High affinity for soiling
- Poor resistance to burning (it melts)
- Fiber surface damage through use (leads to increased soiling, reduced oil release)
- Damaged by acids (e.g., formic acid)
- Susceptible to degradation by sunlight
The drawbacks of polypropylene are:
- Organic solvents and oxidizing agents cause fiber to swell and lose strength
- Lower abrasion resistance than polyamide
- Poor resilience
- Low melting point
- Susceptibility to soiling
- Very poor dye-ability
- Susceptible to oil-based stains
The disadvantages of polyester are:
- Less resilient than wool or polyamide
- Range of lustres limited
- Sensitive to cigarette burns
- Lower soil resistance/inferior soil release than wool
- Poorer abrasion resistance than polyamide
- Degraded by ammonia
The weaknesses of acrylic are:
The advantages of carpet over hard floor coverings
- Lower abrasion resilience than polyamide
- High soiling propensity
- Poorer resistance to burning (although flame retardant variants are available), but releases toxic gases (contains cyanide group)
- Fuzzing and pilling in coarse gauge loop pile
- Limited resistance to some organic solvents and strong alkali
Carpet is a more desirable and practical alternative to hard floor coverings. Why?
- Available in a wider variety of textures, colors and designs
- Non-reflective; does not show scuff marks
- Creates an ambiance of quality; improves the morale of staff, the comfort of guests and the behaviour of visitors
Superior sound & heat insulating properties
The perfect pair: wool carpets and tropical climates
- One of the most effective acoustical building materials
- Prevents noise generation at floor level without decreasing the quality of projected sound (speech, music, etc.)
- Greatly reduces sound transmitted through floors
- Increases thermal comfort by reducing heat loss through the feet and body heat loss through radiation
The major problems for carpets in tropical climates are high temperature and high humidity. But wool carpets are not affected by these conditions — in fact they thrive in the tropics!
Wool fiber can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture vapour without feeling damp. So at times of high humidity, wool absorbs moisture and then releases this moisture again when the atmosphere is dry, acting as an atmospheric buffer.
And wool carpets do not suffer from the moisture they absorb. With cotton, jute, linen and starch, excessive amounts of moisture may cause mildew growth unless treated with mildew resist agents.
Believe it...or not! In tropical climates, walking barefoot on wool carpet feels cooler, less sticky and more comfortable than synthetic fiber carpets. This is no illusion — when wool releases moisture it feels (and is) cooler.
Copyright 2012 Wools of New Zealand