Wool is a natural, durable fiber and an excellent option for carpeting. We’ve collected some information about wool quality you might find helpful when shopping for new carpeting.

There are approximately 500 different breeds of sheep that produce the world’s wool, and they fall into three categories – fine, medium and coarse. Coarse wool is used to make rugs and carpeting, which amounts to forty one percent of the world’s wool production. These fibers are larger in diameter and longer in length; excellent for making into staple yarns used in wool carpeting. Breeds that produce long or coarse wool come from cooler, wetter climates like New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Sheep raised in these types of climates have a higher lanolin content which makes the fibers stronger, more insulating and naturally soil and dirt resistant.

Wool is considered a premium fiber for carpeting. While wool is a high-end option, there are still different levels of quality in this category. When looking for sources of quality, ask about industry certifications. Wools of New Zealand and Laneve are excellent examples of the best wool carpet in the world. The products meet strict performance criteria, and have to pass over 20 rigorous tests including fiber content, durability, color fastness and appearance retention. The Laneve name tells you all the wool used can be traced back to the actual farmers who raise the sheep. The growers in this region are monitored for high environmental standards, animal welfare and best practices in farming.

Carpeting that carries the Wools of New Zealand name guarantee at least 80% of the fibers come from New Zealand wool and meet the highest performance and environmental standards. Lower grades of wool are also used to make carpeting and will come in at a lower price point. A knowledgeable sales person should be able to provide you with details about the wool quality used in the carpeting they sell.

There are some environmental advantages to wool carpeting. Wool is a natural, renewable material. Products made from wool are very durable with a long lifespan, and needs less cleaning­– which is better for the environment as it cuts down on water and detergent usage. Wool is one of the most recycled fibers and biodegrades easily. In addition, wool carpeting acts as a filter for air pollutants; trapping particles, which are then removed with vacuuming. This can be great for people with allergies and asthma.