Traditional Wool Pile
When most people envision an area rug, it the traditional wool pile that comes to mind. Originating in Persia, wool pile rugs are some of the most versatile. Available in a wide variety of colors, these rugs typically feature a field of elaborate, decorative patterns based on medallions, flowers, or vines surrounded by a border in a variety of color schemes. Available in several piles (the density of fibers; short pile rugs are flat; long pile rugs are shaggy) traditional wool rugs are very well suited for high traffic and common areas in a home because of their durability and superior wear. Wool is also naturally fire retardant and resists “absorbing” dirt and spills making them easier to clean. Wool rugs are subject to fading if kept in direct sun and are prone to some shedding which diminishes with time. The two major disadvantages of wool rugs are they absorb humidity and, because they are durable, wool rugs typically cost more. But you get what you pay for.
Wool rugs are also some of the easiest to maintain. Wool has complex fiber structure that keeps unwanted detritus on the rug’s surface longer. Since they do not penetrate the pile quickly, removing tracked in dirt or an errant spill is easily accomplished if attended to promptly. You can protect your investment by vacuuming regularly, removing spills immediately, and having your wool rug professionally cleaned by hot water extraction every year or two.