What is wool carpet?

What is wool carpet?

A timeless choice, wool carpets have been in British homes for centuries. Before central heating, the added warmth of wool carpet was a luxury in homes, and classic brands like Axminster have been a household name for generations. Today wool carpets remain a classic interior design feature for a reason – they suit both modern and traditional homes alike!

What is a wool carpet?

Wool carpets are made from the natural fibres of sheep’s fleece, carded and spun into yarn. Wool is the ultimate sustainable, renewable resource, and thanks to their natural origins, wool carpets have some amazing properties: they’re fire-resistant, offer excellent insulation and are extremely hard-wearing. The fibres keep their shape, even after a lot of pressure. When properly looked after, one of the wool carpet’s advantages is that it can last for decades!

Their flame resistance is also really useful – dropping a lit match or cigarette onto the carpet will only char the fibres, but it won’t catch fire like some synthetic fibres.

Wool is generally considered to be an investment as it does come with a higher price tag in comparison to other carpet types, but with proper care a wool carpet can outlast all other contenders. You can find out more about the different carpet types in our what is carpet guide.

Rather like the sheep where the wool comes from, wool carpets can be known to shed a little, so regular cleaning and vacuuming are imperative for keeping your wool carpet looking pristine.

Types of wool carpet

Wool carpets generally come in two types – pure wool, or a wool blend. The wool blends tend to have an 80/20 ratio of wool, and a synthetic material like polypropylene that can give it either a softer feeling or more stain-resistant properties. These hybrid products often allow you to enjoy most of the qualities of natural wool at a lower price.

100% wool carpets are made using pure sheep’s wool. Both types of wool carpets are very easy to dye and print on thanks to wool’s natural ability to take on colour, which means that the design options for wool carpets are endless.

Wool vs polypropylene carpet

When choosing a carpet for your space, you need to know the differences between the types on offer, since they can differ significantly. Wool and polypropylene carpets can look and feel very similar, but their differences could be the deciding factor for you!

Polypropylene is a synthetic material, so while it doesn’t have the superb crush-resistance of wool, water and stains simply cannot soak into its fibres. If you’re worried about cleaning up after kids or pets, it can be reassuring to know that polypropylene carpet is not only stain-resistant, it can even be bleach cleaned. Check out our carpet cleaning guide for more info on how to clean different stains out of your carpets.

Wool, meanwhile, is a natural fibre and therefore has a lot of inbuilt qualities that can make it a solid choice for your home. Wool can help to filter allergens out of the air, so it’s often helpful for people who suffer from dust allergies or asthma. The lanolin that sheathes the fibres makes wool naturally resistant to wear and general soiling, so a wool carpet can outlast a synthetic equivalent. However, if a water-based stain has time to soak into wool, it can be very difficult to remove.

Pros and cons of wool carpet

Let’s wrap up with the pros and cons of wool carpets to give you a comprehensive overview of this popular carpet type to make sure you have all the facts!

Pros

  • Wool’s natural oils make it dirt resistant
  • Soft and luxurious
  • Keeps your home warm thanks to its natural insulating properties
  • Fire resistant
  • Hypoallergenic
     

Cons

  • The upfront cost is higher than other carpet types
  • Can be stained by non-oil-based products like coffee and wine
  • Sensitive to sunlight which can cause fading
  • Absorbent to liquids, making it a riskier pick for bathrooms or kitchens

How much does wool carpet cost?

Colours, quality, designs, materials, and width can all affect the price of wool carpets. Starting at £18.99 per m2 and fitting £5.30 per m2, our cheapest wool blend carpet costs around £225 to carpet a small 3x4 metre room (not including underlay, door bars, and grippers). You can use the handy carpet calculator on any of our products (like our Casablanca wool carpet) to find out how much it could cost to carpet your entire room with that carpet.

If you’ve made up your mind for wool, visit your nearest Tapi store or browse our online selection of wool carpets. If you prefer another style of carpet, you can learn more about them in our Ideas Hub, where we also offer styling inspiration, DIY tips and care guides for all our flooring types.

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