The Synthetic or Wool Carpeting Debate

Really, any carpet you will install in your home is an investment. And so it’s inevitable that the question of whether to install wool or synthetic carpeting will come up. Both types of carpet can work well in a home, but it really depends on what goes on in your home.

Synthetic Carpeting

Those looking for a carpet that can handle stains from kids and pets are likely to benefit most from synthetic. This is because synthetic carpet is available in a wide range of stain-resistant levels. The most stain-resistant synthetic carpet is treated with Teflon as well as other highly-protective solutions. Of course, no carpet is immune to staining from spills, but stains on synthetic carpeting can be cleaned even if the stain was left to sit over a long period of time. This is due to the inability of stains to permeate synthetic fibre.

Wool Carpeting

Where durability and long life is desired, wool carpeting is difficult to beat. Those households without pets or children will see their wool carpeting lasting a lifetime. Its natural elasticity is provided by its three-dimensional, crimped and spiralling fibres. Wool carpeting’s elasticity allows it to stretch up to 30% beyond its original length and then bounce back, much like a spring would. This makes it great for high-traffic areas. However, as far as stains are concerned, liquids can penetrate wool quickly, and so are best removed before they’ve had a chance to set.

Wool Carpeting Cleaning Myths

Wool has sometimes been the less popular carpet to purchase due to a number of myths that it is notoriously difficult to clean. Some see wool carpeting behaves in the same way that wool clothing does, which is likely the most common misconception.

Wool isn’t like clothing. It won’t shrink if it is wet-cleaned. However, if wet cleaning wool carpeting, cold water is recommended. As well, it’s important not to saturate wool carpeting, as it can absorb a lot of moisture. Another myth is that having wool carpeting doesn’t allow for the use of chemicals during wet cleaning. This is untrue, as chemicals can be used to wet clean wool carpet. However, it’s important to ensure that any chemicals used are of a neutral ph.

Yet another wet cleaning myth is that doing so will change the colour of wool carpeting to brown. The wool fibres themselves won’t change colour. The backing of the carpet is likely to discolour, however.

The drying of wool carpeting is also misunderstood. Some are of the opinion that wool carpeting should be allowed to air dry at a natural pace. However, the truth is that the best drying of wool carpet occurs rapidly, so having a fan or other air mover in a position that facilitates drying is best.


There is a fact about wool carpeting that’s true, and it has to do with the use of bleach. Bleach should never be applied to wool carpeting, as it will dissolve the fibres if applied at certain concentrations, or if left too long.

Really, the question of synthetic or fibre is up to the homeowner. There may also be plenty of myths surrounding the price of wool and synthetic carpeting. For example, wool is considered to be the “Cadillac of carpet”, causing many to think that it is expensive. The truth is that wool carpeting can cost less than other kinds.

While this post may answer many questions about synthetic and wool carpeting, you may still be wondering about some things. This is why it is important to speak with someone who understands the different benefits of each carpet type.