You just purchased a new wool rug that you absolutely love. It’s the right color, pattern, and size, and it looks great in your home. But, there’s one tiny problem. You’ve been noticing that the wool rug has started to shed. What’s going on? Is this supposed to be happening? How do you stop this?
While there are many benefits to purchasing a wool rug, they do tend to have a shedding problem. In fact, no matter how much you spend on your wool rug, it will still shed. There’s really no way around it. The good news is, there are ways you can deal with this excess shedding. We’ve got all your questions answered when it comes to the shedding of wool rugs. Keep reading to learn more.
What Causes Wool Rugs to Shed?
First, what exactly causes wool rugs to shed? As we said earlier, all wool rugs shed to some degree, but some wool rugs shed more than others. There are three main factors that affect the amount of shedding: material, make, and newness of the rug. Let’s take a closer look at how each one of these factors contributes to the total amount of shedding.
Even though wool is considered a high-quality material, there’s still a difference in quality from one wool rug to the next. Often, it has to do with where the sheep are raised. Sheep that are raised in high mountains tend to have long hair that’s naturally abundant with lanolin wool. This helps them keep warm at high altitudes. Wool that comes from high-altitude sheep is considered to be of the highest quality.
Wool from sheep that are raised in lower lands tends to be courser and of lower quality than wool reared in higher altitudes. When sheep living in lowlands are sheared too often, adhesive is needed to make the short pieces of wool stay together. Over time, this adhesive breaks down, causing your rug to shed.
Make is the other factor that plays into the amount of shedding. There are a couple of different ways to make a wool rug, and the quality of it will depend on two factors: whether the rug was made by hand or using modern techniques. Rugs that are hand-knotted are much less likely to come apart and shed. This is because they are made from hundreds and even thousands of knots that are threaded to the foundation of the wool.
In the case of hand-tufted rugs, a tufting gun is used to shoot fabric (tufts) through a plastic grid. In order to keep the tufts in place, the rug must be backed with glue or polymer. This backing will eventually deteriorate, causing the rug to shed. Machine-made rugs also pose a problem because they are made from synthetic materials that can break down over time, resulting in shedding.
Newness of the Rug
Regardless of quality, if you bought your wool rug recently, it is going to experience some shedding. This is because, at the end of the wool rug making process, the wool fibers are cut to the desired pile height and thickness. This cutting can cause little pieces of wool fiber to get stuck in the rug. Over time, these pieces will work their way out. Luckily, the shedding will subside within the first sixth months or so.
Can I Stop Rug Shedding?
Is there anything you can do to stop your wool rug from shedding? While technically you cannot fully prevent a wool rug from shedding, there are some things you can do to help control it and keep your floors looking great.
Vacuum With Care
Many people think that vacuuming is the solution to dealing with a shedding rug, but the truth is, vacuuming can actually make the shedding worse. This is because vacuuming pulls the fibers away from the rug, causing even more shedding. If you need to vacuum your rug, avoid using a strong suction. It’s best to use the hand-held suction piece, as this will put less pressure on your rug. You can also use a broom to remove dirt and debris from your rug.
Place It in a Low Traffic Area
When you first bring your wool rug home, make sure you don’t place it in an area with high foot traffic. Excessive traffic over the rug will cause even more shedding. Instead, place your rug in an area that doesn’t receive a lot of foot traffic, like underneath the dining room table. After a few months, you can move your rug to a higher traffic location.
Use a Rug Pad
The impact of feet walking across a wool rug can cause it to shed more. To minimize this, consider investing in a rug pad. Not only do pads help prevent shedding, but they also make rugs feel great to walk across because of their added softness.
Minimize Dirt Accumulation
Of course, rugs are going to naturally accumulate some dirt over time, but the less dirt, the better. This is because dirt and debris act as abrasives. When walking across a dirty wool rug, friction is produced, which causes even more shedding. In the first 6 months, be very careful to not walk across your rug with dirty feet.
Keep Pets Away
Be sure to keep your pets away from your wool rug as much as possible. Both cats and dogs love to knead at wool which can cause excess shedding.
Why Wool Rugs Are Still Worth It
With all the work that goes into dealing with the shedding of a wool rug, are wool rugs really even worth it? The answer is a definite yes. Wool rugs are worth it for a number of different reasons.
First, wool rugs are extremely durable. You’ll find that even after many years, your wool rug will still be in great shape. In fact, even though they come with a higher price tag, wool rugs are much more likely to outlast synthetic rugs made from nylon, polyester, acrylic, etc. Wool also adheres to dye very easily. This means that there is a broad range of colors and patterns available to suit all tastes.
Wool is also one of the top choices for homes with pets and kids, as wool is extremely easy to care for. Wool is stain resistant, flame resistant and moisture resistant, and if you act quickly with spills, it’s very easy to clean. Last but not least, we cannot forget about the comfort that wool provides. If you want a rug that you can really sink your feet into, wool is the answer.
Rug Materials That Don’t Shed
If you’re still not entirely into the idea of dealing with a rug that sheds, don’t worry. There are plenty of rug materials that don’t shed.
Cotton rugs are great for those who need to place a rug in a high traffic area. They’re both affordable and machine-washable. If your kid spills on your cotton rug, it’s certainly not the end of the world.
Rugs made from synthetic fibers are a great option for those who don’t want to deal with shedding. Synthetic fiber rugs are more affordable than their wool counterparts, and they come in a variety of shapes and colors. If you buy a synthetic rug, make sure to look for one with polypropylene, as this gives the rug extra durability.
Lastly, flat weave rugs are less likely to shed because of how tightly they are woven.