Before the end of WWII, wool carpet production by Alexander Smith & Sons of Yonkers, New York reached 26,000 square yards of woven wool carpet per day. Wool has been the fiber of choice for garments and carpets since 4,000 BC! However, when nylon was introduced during WWII, it quickly replaced wool as the dominant fiber choice for carpet. Wool now accounts for only a small amount of carpet produced worldwide, though it is still known and desired for its richness, safety and beauty.
As a carpet fiber, wool has much to like, starting with its exceptional ability to hide soil. Even when soiled, wool carpets respond easily to most standard commercial cleaning methods. When constructed properly and maintained reasonably, wool carpets will never “ugly out,” (like nylon or polyester) giving you a true wear life of up to 20 years or more! Another factor influencing wool’s beauty is its affinity for dyes, allowing for deeper, richer and more luxurious colors. Finally, wool carpet is safe; it is non-flammable (self extinguishing) and non allergenic.
The biggest negative for wool carpets is the cost, with installed prices starting around $4 per square foot. One other concern is that it may be more susceptible to staining elements like red wine or fruit drinks – simply because of its great affinity for dyes, which give you the vibrant colors you want. Nonetheless, if you have the budget and can protect against the stain agents, wool is still the most luxurious of carpets and will give you a very long wear life!