Many people think that they're allergic to wool. In most cases this is not true.
Many people think that any kind of carpet is bad for people with asthma and/or allergies. This is only true if we're talking about DIRTY carpet, especially with wool.
In this post I'll go over the various parts of this myth including the prick factor, different grades, and some of the natural properties of wool that actually make it good for those with allergies. I previously wrote a post about dirty carpet and allergies.
Have you ever worn a wool sweater? Did it make you itchy? Then, later, did you wear a different wool sweater that didn't cause you to itch?
The itch is caused by the 'prick-factor'. Like with anything, there are different quality of wools.
- Some breeds of sheep have better coats than others
- Some wools go through a better harvesting and refining method than others
- Often the wool closer to the skin is considered to be a higher quality than the rough wool on the outside of the coat that's been exposed to the elements
And, of course, higher quality of wool performs better with the 'touch test' and has a lower 'prick-factor'. These are the different grades of wool in the carpeting and area rug world:
- Grade 1 - New Zealand Wool: the most durable and luxurious wool available world wide; the prick factor with this grade is all but non-existent
- Grade 2: this is the second best of wools, it's still very soft and durable; the prick factor at this grade is very low
- Grade 3: this is the 3rd best and Mercers doesn't deem it to hold enough quality and value to carry it; this grade could cause you to feel itchy after touching or wearing anything made from it
Wool area rugs and carpet is a completely natural product that is proven to improve your quality of life because of its many health benefits, its stunning beauty, and its luxurious softness. Wool is what all of the synthetic fibers attempt to imitate.
My mother raised me and my two brothers (plus our numerous pets and Dad!) on wool rugs. They still look brand new and we put them through it all, trust me! All of us have different allergies and none of us ever had any negative reactions to our wool rugs or carpeting.
Yes, I've touched lower grade wool and it did give me an itchy rash (to the point one time that I thought I had a bad poison ivy reaction). I will always stand behind the quality of wool rugs and carpet, I even have a (beautiful) rug made from the 2nd grade in my apartment. You just can't beat the durability and comfort of wool.
I've inbedded two videos for your enjoyment. What do you think? The first one is a sheering demonstration and the second is a pleasent view of a herd of sheep with their newborn lambs.
What about you? Do you have wool in your home? What do you think of it?