Why do wool pile rugs shed & what are the negative sides of a woollen rug?
Wool has many benefits over most other yarn types when it comes rug manufacturing. Its often the yarn of choice for most customers and manufactures. However, it does have a few negative aspects, but more often than not the positives out weight the negative. The negatives include shedding, moth damage and cleaning.
Starting with moth damage, this use to be a big problem in the UK but not so much in recent times. Although warm weather and bad storage of a rug can lead to idea breeding habitats for moths. A lot of woollen broadloom carpets and rugs are now moth proofed in the manufacturing stage. This has helped reduce moth damage and breeding areas but moth damage is still a cause for concern. Moth damage in rugs often occurs when a rug is in storage, proper storage is key to avoid any moth damage.
Cleaning can also be a cause for concern. Whilst many man-made rugs are coated with forms of stain guards and other chemicals, wool pile rugs are often un-treated. Stain resistant sprays can be ordered online, the manufacture 3M sell one for household items. There are many debates on the use on using stain resistant spays on wool rugs, many say wool is self-cleaning and the fibres need to breathe. Stain resistant spays are thought to lock in the self-cleaning properties of wool and shouldn’t be used. But many people swear by the use of such sprays.
So, onto the main issue we come across, the dreaded shedding. Shedding whilst annoying it isn't a defect, it’s a natural characteristic of pure woollen rug. Wool is made from a non-continuous filament fibre, which means wool yarn is spun together out of small strands of yarn. Any loose yarns will shed when new, this will slow down over time and eventually slow down and stop. There is no average time for shedding to stop, rug thickness and the way the rug was made can have varying effects on shedding. Tufted pure woollen rugs or shaggy wool pile rugs often shed more and for a longer time period.
Manufacturer's don’t recommend using a hoover with revolving brushes, instead an attachment on the end of a vacuum hose is recommended. Fitted woollen carpets are normally 80/20, the 20% man-made or nylon is woven into the yarn to help reduce shedding, nylon is a continuous filament fibre and helps blend the wool together. Unfortunately, many mass rug producing countries like India don’t blend wool and nylon as a rule when hand making rugs. They normally just use wool; this helps on the ecological front but not the practicality front.
We hope this article helps you understand the disadvantages of woollen rugs, however there are many advantages. Please see our article on the advantages below: