If you’re investing in Carpet the question of Wool vs. Synthetic fibers may arise when making your decision. Both choices are great but, but like any other decision in life, the answer will depend on your current situation. Here are a few things to think about before you make your final choice.
If your main concern in staining (from kids, pets, etc.), then synthetic would most likely serve you best, as it comes in all levels of stain-resistance, from very basic synthetic fibers, to those treated with Teflon and other solutions. Not that any carpet is spill-proof, but if a spill were left to soak into a patch of wool carpeting, it would eventually seep past the natural oils inherent in the wool, and stain the fiber permanently. Whereas on a synthetic carpet such as nylon, if a spill went unnoticed for some time, you could probably get the stain up with a heavy duty spot treatment. This is because the stain usually cannot permeate into the synthetic fibers like it can natural fibers such as wool.
If your main concern is lifespan & durability, or don’t have young children or pets in your house, then wool is definitely the best choice. Wool carpeting can last a lifetime. Each wool fiber has a three-dimensional spiraling crimp, which gives it natural elasticity. This elasticity gives wool fiber the ability to stretch up to 30% more than its original length and then bounce back just like a miniature spring. You will get the same reaction when it’s compressed. Wool is born with this natural resilience that permits it to withstand all the day-to-day traffic you can give it. Wool carpets can recover easily from the inevitable crushing caused by furniture.
Synthetic Carpet Pros
Nylon is durable, easy to clean, resilient and the most sustainable of the synthetic carpets. It has good yarn memory which prevents crushing, good abrasion resistance, resists stains well with treatment and holds color well.
Polyester is fade resistant, stain resistant, and available in a variety of colors.
Polypropylene (olefin) is inexpensive, has superior stain resistance (except for oil-based stains), and resists fading from sunlight.
Synthetic Carpet Cons
Nylon is prone to static electricity, unless it’s treated for the problem.
Polyester is inclined to pilling, shedding, and oil-based stains, and can mat in high-traffic areas.
Polypropylene (olefin) has poor resiliency, which can lead to crushing, and poor resistance to abrasion. Colors are limited due to dying methods during manufacturing.
Wool Carpet Pros
• Soft and pleasant to the touch
• Environmentally friendly (made from natural wool without using chemicals)
• Absorbs about 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling damp, making it a good natural dehumidifier
• Resists compacting or crushing
• Naturally repels dirt
• Accepts and retains color well
• Flame retardant and doesn’t melt
Wool Carpet Cons
• Fuel for moths and carpet beetle larvae (though it can be treated with an insecticide to prevent the problem)
• Alkaline substances found in some detergents can damage wool fibers.
• More expensive than synthetic options