Whenever people ask me the best overall carpet to purchase, my response is always wool.
1. Wool is very strong.
In testing for durability, it would take more than 10,000 bends just to break one wool fiber. It has plenty of layered cuticles and will bend very easily. So wool will hold up to years of foot traffic.
On the other hand, the worst fiber would be rayon/viscose, which will stand to break after only 70 bends, where as silk is about 2,400 before breakage.
We see wool rugs come into our rug plant that are 20-100 years old and still look great. Be sure when buying a rug you are getting real silk. There is a lot of fake silk being sold as the real thing, when in fact, it is not.
2. Wool comes in a variety of colors.
This gives you more options for matching furnishings in your home. Compare to synthetic-like nylon, olefin, acrylic and polyester which is essentially plastic. The wool will slow much better.
Wool dyes exceptionally well. The color possibilities are endless and vibrant, making beautiful contrasts in color. The higher the quality of wool is, the greater sheen it will have. It will actually resemble healthy, shiny hair.
3. Naturally fire and spill resistant.
Wool will not carry a flame so they extinguish. Whereas synthetic fibers can burn wildly or melt. Creating a toxic cloud of smoke.
Wool also has a natural moisture repellent. In the event of an accidental spill the liquid will be suspended for a short time before it soaks into the fibers. If you blot it up quickly you can avoid permanent damage.
4. Wool gets better with age.
Higher quality rugs develop a wonderful patina (sheen and texture) over time. This makes them more vibrant and valuable, while plastic knock offs fade and lose their resale value.
5. Wool is sustainable.
Wool is sheered from sheep, which of course grows back, making it the ultimate sustainable fiber. Synthetic fibers on the other hand are derived from petroleum and does not possess the same quality in look, color and texture. Wool is even stronger, making it the better choice. It’s a no brainer, really.
There is one downside, though: Pets are attracted to the natural hair. Dogs will sleep on it and (if not properly trained) urine stains become a problem…possibly a permanent one. So you must act quickly to avoid a disaster. A synthetic rug will also stain, however, replacing it will be less expensive. Other than that there is nothing more beautiful, rich and elegant as a well-made wool rug. If taken care of properly it will outlast us all.