Pros and cons of natural carpet

Do you know exactly which floor is better? Can you say for sure and without hesitation what is healthier and healthier – for example, parquet or linoleum? Or carpet? We became curious to figure out whether natural carpet is really better than artificial one? And in general, to understand what kind of material it is.

First you need to decide how the carpet (carpet) differs from the carpet. First of all, the carpet has a specific size and a finished pattern or ornament. Many housewives put carpet on the floor for warmth. We also lay carpets for beauty. And carpet is a roll material. Its length is practically unlimited, and the pattern on it, as a rule, is small and repeating all the time. Of course, it also insulates the floor, but it can be classified rather as a flooring. Same as parquet, laminate and linoleum.

Sellers seem to be very fond of carpet. Talking about him, they were like nightingales. This, they say, is both affordable and practical material. Put it on the floor and it will last 15–20 years. And it’s easy to take care of him. In comparison, for example, with the same parquet. Indeed, for the careful care of a wooden floor, you need to buy varnish every 4 years, call craftsmen, move furniture, cycle, varnish with all the ensuing consequences.

Life will be much calmer with carpet. Just like carpets, carpets absorb noise and improve sound insulation. This is especially valuable in block houses, whose residents are usually aware of all the family problems of neighbors from above and below. It turns out that it is really and convenient, and it is good to put carpet in the house. But what surprised me was that it was much more difficult to find natural carpet in stores than synthetic one. And when I started talking about natural carpet, all the sellers in one voice began to dissuade me: “Why do you need this? Synthetic ones are much cheaper, more durable and more practical. And the quality and colors are no worse. ” In short, the meaning of their speeches boiled down to something like this: “What progress has come! Until unseen miracles. ” And the more convincing their arguments were, the more I wanted to “get to know” more closely with the natural carpet.

What’s inside him?

So, the main difference between this material: natural carpet is made from woolen fibers. As you know, wool has been a traditional material in carpet weaving for a long time. And I must say that the choice of our ancestors was not accidental. Wool is plastic, its fibers retain the given shape for a long time. In addition, it has excellent heat-shielding properties. It is this quality that distinguishes natural carpet from synthetic. It is no coincidence that we all wear woolen socks and sweaters in the cold. In addition, wool fibers are quite elastic and easily restore their original size and shape..

But attention: the wool content in natural carpet can be very different! The higher the percentage of wool, the more natural the coating. If the carpet contains 10%, then it is already considered natural. In the most natural, therefore, 100% wool. For example, natural carpets of the British company Brintons are pure wool, or 20% of high quality synthetics (nylon or polyamide) are added to 80% of the wool. The Belgian carpet offered in the Carpet House retail chain can contain 100, 80, 20 or 10% wool. Accordingly, the price is usually distributed in the same percentage – the more wool, the more expensive. American company “Rodeo Carpets” (Rodeo Carpets) adds natural silk to wool.

What is attached to what?

To fix the fibers, you need a base. For this, jute fabric is used in natural carpet. It is a mesh material that looks like burlap. Moreover, jute can be both natural and artificial. For woolen carpets, natural is often used. Although in the specific case (for the basis) there are no fundamental differences between them. If you are a strict adherent of natural products, then your choice is unambiguous – jute should only be natural. And for those who don’t care, I’ll tell you a secret: artificial jute is a little more plastic and easier to cut. But this advantage can only be appreciated by people selling carpet..

Although there is one caveat. I asked around friends and acquaintances, and that’s what it turned out. One very wealthy lady has natural carpet on the floor in the hallway. And underneath is a well-lacquered piece of oak parquet. This entire floor has been “living” in their apartment for the third year already. So, one day she lifted the edge of the carpet runner and was stunned. On her expensive parquet, traces of the very jute base are quite clearly visible. That is, when they walk on the floor, the carpet, or rather its base, rubs against the parquet flooring and leaves risks and scratches. Now my friend has only three options: either to never remove the carpet from the damaged floor, or to recycle and varnish the parquet, or, when the carpet sooner or later becomes unusable, to buy a new one and re-cover the old floor with it. Here’s a story.

Moreover, what is interesting, in this case, it practically does not matter what kind of jute the base is made of (artificial or natural). The friction effect will be the same. What to do? This question has so far remained unanswered. But we will definitely deal with this and will report to you in the next issues..

Now for the method of attaching the pile to the base. In this sense, all carpets are divided into woven and tufted. The first way is when the bristles are intertwined with the base. This method is the most ancient. And they still get a strong and durable carpet.

And in the 50s, the tufting method of making carpets appeared. The meaning of this method is something like this: bunches of pile are injected onto a previously prepared base with the help of many needles. Then they are fixed with glue from the inside out. It is believed that such a carpet will also last a long time. But personally it seems to me that it is still less than woven.

Tufted (left) and woven (right) fiber attachment methods

In addition, pile (with a cut loop) and looped (with an uncut loop) are distinguished among carpets. Loopbacks are easy to identify visually – they look like a terry towel. There is no fundamental difference between them, only an external difference. For example, I liked both of them. I was especially impressed by the natural carpet with a “sculptural loop” pile. This pattern is the result of a combination of low and high loops. In fact, for life, it is almost all the same what pattern and in what way (pile or loop) your carpet will be made. But for us, women, the most important factor is the appearance of the carpet. And then you can’t go anywhere.

Why density is needed?

And yet, in order to make the right choice, you need to remember one very important characteristic: the density of natural carpet. The higher the density, the tighter the nap adheres to each other. And the harder it is to crush them. This means that natural high-density carpet will last longer. And there will be no dents from furniture legs on it. This applies to both pile (with a cut loop) and looped (with an uncut loop) carpets..

What determines the density of the carpet? Many things matter here: the density of the padding, the number of knots per square centimeter, and even the height of the pile. It is clear that the higher the pile, the worse it straightens. Therefore, it is better not to put the “long and fluffy” varieties of carpet so dearly loved by many women, for example, in the hallway, where we stomp in street shoes or in high heels. Dents on it will last much longer.

But that’s not all. Much depends on the thickness of the wool from which the carpet is woven. By the way, the density ranges from 280 to 2064 grams per square meter. But simply put, to determine it for two woven carpets, look at their base. Which of them has a jute mesh more often, the latter has a higher density. Thus, the higher the density, the better the carpet. But also more expensive, respectively.

To find the middle ground between price and density, you need to clearly know where you are going to lay the carpet. We have already said that where we go much more often, for example, in the hallway or in the living room, the coating should be of high density and low pile. And in other rooms, which is called “with less traffic”, it is quite possible to lay natural carpet – not as high density and with a fluffier (high) pile.

Carpet from “Carpet House”:
with “sculpted-loop” pile (two light samples) and tufted (pink sample)

We also realized that each company works for a certain circle of buyers. Carpet House Belgian wool carpets are sold in numerous shops of the same name. And more expensive copies can be ordered according to the samples presented in the same stores. Firms “Kontraktstroy” and “Center of carpets” Axminster “approach each client individually, receiving visitors only at their office. By the way, Brintons woolen carpets can be found in the prestigious Moscow hotels Grand Hotel, Radisson Slavyanskaya, Tverskaya, in the Prague, Zolotoy restaurants, in the Royal and Cosmos casinos. And even in such a pretentious place as (even scary to pronounce) in the office of our untimely resigned president.

By the way, about the president. More precisely, about the carpet in his office. On the one hand, this fact inclines the electorate in favor of natural carpet. But personally, I have always been against not only natural, but also any carpet. I can’t even say clearly – why? I didn’t like it – that’s all. Therefore, with manic persistence, every 4 years I bought expensive varnish, moved furniture, hired craftsmen who cycle and varnished the parquet. So, my resistance was broken by people who offered to get acquainted with the whole library of designs developed during the 200 years of the existence of the Brintons company.

The symbol of the “Brintons” company is a lady dressed in carpet

Carpet with a border from “Brintons”

So, we come to the most important thing, that is, to the presidential (albeit former) carpet. It turns out that he has not just a piece of woolen covering there. No, to be really cool, the carpet can be made from the composition of the carpet with a small and large pattern plus a border. The set is selected in a single color scheme. That is, the center of the room and the corners can be covered with a covering with different patterns, and the border between them can be trimmed with a carpet border. It would seem beauty! But you can’t fool me: “What about the seams?” “And what about the professionals? – my interlocutors were not at a loss. – They will mark and cut the cover. Using a special (and not ordinary) iron and thermal tape, the seams will be welded evenly. Then they will skillfully weave the fibers of the carpet so that no seams will be visible, and spread it. What’s it like? ” “Needless to say,” I agreed, “in Yeltsin’s office, it’s clear that the floors will not be covered with bad carpet. There all the day long VIP-persons trample back and forth on important matters “.

By the way, one of the arguments of the opponents of natural carpet was the assertion of sellers that it is much more difficult to clean than artificial carpet. More precisely, that it, they say, can never be cleaned as well as synthetic. So, nothing like that! High-quality and fairly thorough cleaning of natural carpet is not difficult at all. And not so troublesome. It is cleaned in the same way as any woven floor covering. That is, a vacuum cleaner. Moreover, none of the specialists particularly objected to the so-called washing vacuum cleaners. But for our part, we can say: it is still better not to get carried away with a washing vacuum cleaner. We have already said in one of the rooms that if your carpet lies on top of the parquet, then, first of all, wet cleaning is “not useful” to the parquet.

Especially wet cleaning “do not like” glue-based carpets. If too much water is absorbed, then such a natural carpet may “shrink” or ugly stains will appear on it. Experts advise: if you are impatient to clean with a washing vacuum cleaner, then it is better to scrub not a separate (soiled) area, but the entire coating at once. In addition, water has a bad habit of dissolving the silicate glue of the base little by little. This threatens to wash off the anti-static coating (we will talk about it later). Therefore, experts recommend wet cleaning no more than once a month..

And in case you need not just to collect dust from the carpet, but to remove some kind of stain, there are several possibilities.

RPK offers a whole series of products for dry cleaning. They are produced by the Austrian company “Carper Cleaner” (Carper Cleaner). Today, this company is considered the leading manufacturer of products and equipment for carpeting..

So what do they offer us:

  • cleaning liquid that can be used both as a stand-alone stain remover and for pretreating heavily soiled areas of carpet, for example, trodden paths. The liquid is in a spray can and the dirty areas are sprayed before applying the cleaning powder;
  • cleaning powder that scatters on the carpet and absorbs dirt. It removes deep-seated street dirt, stains from food and drinks (including coffee and red wine), oil, grease, shoe cream;
  • a special cleaning machine, which is equipped with two brushes rotating in opposite directions. Moreover, they not only clean, but also restore the crumpled pile of natural carpet. If you do not have the opportunity to buy such a wonderful machine, you can buy a special brush. It is cheaper.
  • We must act consistently. The scheme is simple. The cleaning liquid dissolves the sticky dirt on the carpet fibers, the powder absorbs it, after which the cleaning agents with the dirt are removed with a vacuum cleaner. Naturally, the frequency of complex cleaning depends on the quality, color and location of the carpet. But on average, this should be done 1-2 times a year..

    But the British, it seemed to me, are suspicious of innovations and suggest using traditional natural substances in certain ratios for cleaning woolen carpets..

    The color range of natural carpets is very rich

    Brintons’ colors popular at the turn of the century

    What problems?

    But back to reproaches and suspicions. I was assured that the carpet is actively collecting dust. And ketchup spilled, for example, on linoleum, can be easily wiped off with a rag, and to remove it from natural carpet, you have to tinker. Well, firstly, hardly anyone will lay the carpet in the kitchen (where we often spill something, scatter or splash something). And secondly, dirt, even the most resistant, can be easily wiped off with a special solution..

    Now let’s deal with dust. Any hostess will confirm that even the bare floor is collecting dust. And when we walk-wander on linoleum or parquet, dust immediately rises into the air. Natural carpeting keeps dust well. Of course, if you vacuum once a month, then you are in danger of dust allergies. But if you are a zealous and neat housewife, it is enough to go through the vacuum cleaner a couple of times a week – and the cleanliness and love of your husband are practically guaranteed to you (we checked it ourselves – we confirm it). It seems to me that a good mother will always be happy to allow a small child to tinker with a soft and warm natural carpet. Everything is better than on synthetic linoleum and even more so on synthetic carpet.

    Everyone knows that dust mites live in the dust of any apartment. Moreover, these creatures themselves do not pose any danger. But their waste products can cause allergies. Therefore, all woolen coatings are treated from dust mites and from moths, the larvae of which so love to feast on delicious, from their point of view, wool.

    I would like to draw your attention to one more feature of natural carpets. The first time after the flooring the “undercoat” will come out of the wool. Don’t be alarmed. And do not rush to the store with a claim that a low-quality carpet was slipped into you and that soon it will completely go bald. As one friend of mine used to say, “everything is going according to plan.” Experts explained to me that this is the “production pile” that is formed after cutting. All these troubles will last about a month. During this time, we recommend vacuuming the carpet frequently. And everything will pass. But if after a couple of months your carpet continues to “go bald”, then there is a guard. It’s time to sound the alarm, you were clearly cheated. Because, we repeat, this should not happen with a high-quality natural carpet..

    The enemy will not pass?

    By the way, even at the stage of fiber production, from which natural carpet will then be made, it (the fiber) is subjected to a whole range of various treatments. This is done just in order to improve, in official language, its operational properties.

    So what do they do with it. For example, fire fighting is carried out. After such manipulation, the fibers do not burn with a bright flame and do not even melt, like synthetics, but slowly smolder. This, by the way, is one more of our delusions that, they say, everything natural will burn “more friendly”. But no! If, for example, you dropped a burning cigarette on such a natural floor, then you can be sure that your carpet will not catch fire instantly. At least you will have enough time not to bring the matter to the arrival of the brave firefighters.

    And, of course, dirt-repellent treatment is carried out. It is thanks to her that the dirt is retained on the surface of the fiber and does not penetrate inside. There is another common misconception that woolen carpet will absorb all odors. So, after such processing, woolen carpets absorb odors much less than ordinary wool (which really absorbs all odors, like a sponge).

    I’m lying in the sun…

    And one more important point. Nowadays, many people make warm floors in their apartments. When I went shopping, I often heard the following question: “Is it possible to lay natural carpet on a warm floor, won’t something happen to it?” By the way, the “testimonies” of sellers on this issue differed. Some said – it is possible, others vaguely hinted that, they say, it is better not to risk it.

    So, I answer: “You can.” We wear woolen sweaters over our naked bodies. And, as you know, most normal people have a temperature of 36.6 ° C. And nothing! Personally, I have never seen my woolen blouse change color or shrink from such a temperature. And the warm floor is not a hot frying pan. Therefore, you can safely cover it with natural carpet..

    The sun’s rays are another matter. Here – yes. If the sun beats through the window from morning to evening, then there is probably a danger that the carpet will fade. For example, in my house the windows just face south, and in summer the room is bathed in the sun almost all day long. But here the opinions of experts differed. Some have argued that their carpets do not fade at all. Others said that, they say, the fading of wool coatings is more noticeable than synthetic ones. After all these conversations, I got the impression that woolen carpets still fade..

    But do not be afraid that your carpet will burn out instantly, literally in one summer. Firstly, we do not live in Africa and we do not have many really hot sunny days. And secondly, I repeat, this incident (burnout) will not happen immediately.

    And finally, the last test that our “straight” is subjected to. In order to protect natural carpet from static electricity, carpets are treated with an antistatic agent. It is very important. Thanks to this treatment, you can safely walk on your natural floor. You can even lie down, if you wish, without fear of becoming electrified so that later you will not be able to touch metal objects. Touch anything (and anyone) to your health – it will not be shocked.

    How wide is it?

    There is one more difficulty in buying carpet. It is connected with its width. Let’s say I have a 4 x 4 meter square room. As a rule, a roll of carpet is of a standard width – 4 meters. It turns out that I was lucky. I can buy 4 linear meters of standard width carpet and cover my room without any problems. But what if you need to cover a room measuring, for example, 5 x 6 m? Do you really have to buy one more length for one “side” meter? Of course, carpet can be two, three, and five meters wide, but this size is less common. It’s a pity for money, and what to do with an extra piece of 3 meters wide? You can, of course, equip a sleeping place for your beloved dog, throw another piece in front of the front door in the form of a rug. Give the rest to the poor. But these are all additional complications.

    We believe that it is better to look for a carpet of a different, more suitable width..

    How to lay it?

    Well, let’s say you decide to buy it. Now the question arises: how to lay natural carpet correctly? By the way, carpet (and natural as well) is mainly good because it does not require special preparation of the floor. It can be placed on any surface: parquet, linoleum and even concrete. Moreover, suppose you decide to move to a new apartment. It is clear that to tear off parquet or linoleum from the floor and transport it with you is problematic and troublesome. But with a carpet in this case there will be no problems. Tear off the skirting boards with which it was fixed, roll it into a roll and transport it. But personally, we still do not recommend starting this procedure – we know from experience that it will turn out more expensive. Then the sizes may not coincide, that-se … In general, it is better not to be greedy.

    It is advisable to lay any carpet on a soft substrate: felt (natural, artificial) or foam rubber. Why is this done? Firstly, for thermal insulation, especially if you need to lay the carpet on the concrete floor. And secondly, the softer the base, the longer the coating will last. Due to the fact that part of the load is taken over by the substrate, the loop is not so strongly deformed and takes on its original form faster.

    The underlay is sold in the same stores as the carpet, its thickness is 4.5 – 10 mm. When I asked if it was necessary to let it lie on the floor before fixing the carpet (after all, it was rolled into a roll and, possibly, deformed), I again received two completely different answers. For some, it was recommended to let the previously spread carpet lie down for at least a day. But others, it turns out, do not need this procedure. Of course, provided that it was stored in good conditions, with normal humidity and was correctly transported.

    To secure the carpet, it is simply pressed to the floor with a baseboard. There is another option – to lay double-sided tape around the perimeter of the room. Although I doubt the tape will stick well to uneven jute fabric. But, as experts advise, if the carpet is spread in a room with an area of ​​more than 45 m2, it is better to coat it with glue. For reliability. Then – just for a century. If the carpet is laid on a substrate, then, as a rule, only it is glued to the floor.

    The British propose a way of attaching the carpet to the gripper rail. This is a rail 1.5 m long and 1.5 cm wide, with studs sticking out of it at a 45 ° angle. Reiki is nailed around the perimeter of the room. Then the carpet is stretched and pricked onto the studs of the slats at a distance of about a centimeter from the edge. Then a plinth is placed on top. All. You can walk.

    And if you are going to the store right now, then do not forget:

    1. You must clearly define in which room the natural carpet you like will lie. If in the room where you plan to lay it, you will walk often (or in outdoor shoes), we recommend choosing a natural carpet of high density and low pile. In uncrowded places, carpet with a high pile and lower density is quite suitable..
    2. It is advisable to choose the width of the carpet so that the waste is as small as possible..
    3. It is important to lay it correctly and secure it to the floor. It is very good if specialists are engaged in this. In order not to scratch your favorite parquet, be sure to lay the carpet on a substrate.
    4. And, of course, vacuum it regularly at least once every three days, without getting carried away with wet cleaning. And we recommend wet cleaning no more than once a month..

    Only in this case, natural carpet will serve you for more than a dozen years!

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