Wool Rugs


Wool Rugs

Wool rugs are by far the fastest, most complete way to change a mood or character of a room. Wool rugs have become a general term used that actually covers a tremendous range of carpet products. Specifically here though, they refer to area or throw rugs. Given the over 200 varieties of sheep in the world, supply of this popular and durable yarn fiber has never been greater. Selected for its durability, it is generally harsh in consistency rather than soft and delicate such as the wool used for a lambs wool sweater.

Wool rugs have what is called a particular "hand" or texture that reflects the level of 'scratchiness' found in the finished product. The manner of grooming and shearing and resulting processing of the fiber can vary widely amongst carpet producers. Further complications regarding the wide range in texture is the fact that it varies considerably across the body of an individual sheep, as well as differences related to and based on the actual sex of the sheep. Add in nutritional factors, age and the general health of the sheep, and you have yet another class of variables to mix into the fold.

Wool rugs, such as in many Oriental designs, incorporate a process in which the individual weavers harvest a longer wool fiber bearing a greater overall density, sometimes twice the size of other wool fiber, thus giving rise to a very different finished wool area rug. The resulting product, whether oriental or not, retained a luster often missing from modern designs which typically utilize inappropriate or inferior wool fiber and then apply cheap but boldly hued synthetic colors to the weaving process. Modern machine woven techniques lack the subtlety in coloring and texture as well as even the element of human error and irregularity uniquely found and favored in antique productions found in such places as Persia or India .

Wool rug research into synthetic dyeing processes intensified in the 19th century as European producers sought to re-create and reproduce the complexity, design and detail of the nomadic Oriental weaver. This led to a literal mass production so that European and American consumers could participate in the home furnishings phenomenon. Coloring properties were expanded to accept color treatments based on fuchsin dyes, with colors ranging from fuchsin-magenta to basic red to basic violet to acid violet and red violet. Oriental or contemporary design elements could now use these fuchsin dyes to achieve an initially startling effect. One drawback though, however, was that these same fuchsin dyes were highly light sensitive, and accordingly would rapidly fade or gray with exposure to normal levels of diffused sunlight.

Even during the first quarter of the 20th century this process was still being utilized. The result was that these chemically unstable fuchsin dyes guaranteed an underlying flow of repeat buyers who would eventually discard their now graying and dull flooring after only a short number of years of use, and purchase a new one. Meanwhile, the antique market, which is based solely on organically produced vegetable dyes, continues to provid buyers with far greater wear and coloring vibrancy.

2011 FloorBiz, Inc. All Rights Reserved

For these and other rare carpets and prestigious tapestries... FloorBiz is your starting point to all the important flooring sites on the internet.

Flooring | Flooring Guide | Flooring Info | Flooring Forum