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Design house clears up common carpet myths in honour of National Wool Week
If you’re updating indoor carpets this fall, don’t have the wool pulled over your eyes. Invest in a natural, comfortable and easy-to-maintain wool area rug and indulge in its softness underfoot instead.
National Wool Week — an annual campaign to highlight the often overlooked benefits of wool — runs September 23 to October 1.
One of the biggest myths, says Creative Matters vice-president and partner Ana Cunningham, is that wool carpets can be a nightmare to clean and maintain.
“There are a few things that are really incredible about wool that maybe the average consumer wouldn’t know about,” said Cunningham, noting that after 35 years in business, the Canadian luxury custom wall and floor covering design house continues to promote wool in the majority of its custom pieces for a myriad of reasons.
“For one, “it’s a naturally protective surface that just retains its beauty over time,” she said.
The wool industry is dedicated to making wool’s environmental qualities more understandable through the International Wool Textile Organization (IWTO), which is scheduled to hold its annual roundtable in Canada for the first time in 2023.
Yet, an international survey carried out by the IWTO Interiors Working Group, chaired by Creative Matters CEO and founder Carol Sebert, found that the majority of consumers are misinformed about the advantages of wool compared to nylon.
For example, according to Creative Matters, the lanolin in wool fibres acts as a natural sealant, trapping dirt, allergens and stains at the surface so they can easily be removed before harmful damage or permanent discolouration occurs.
Wool is also good for sound absorption, is naturally flame resistant with an ignition temperature of 570-600 degrees Celsius, is biodegradable and is a designer’s dream because of the way it handles colour during the dying process.
When people question wool’s durability, Cunningham shares the story about Hy’s Steakhouse in downtown Toronto. After 13 harsh Canadian winters, it was time to replace carpeting the design house had previously installed at the restaurant’s high-traffic front entrance.
“Every day they got a beating … with slush and snow and salt being dragged over them time and time again,” she said. “Come time to lift the carpet up to replace it for the refreshed design, and the carpet was still in pristine condition – the only thing that deteriorated was the underpad.”
In addition to sourcing New Zealand, Himalayan and Tibetan wool, Creative Matters also works with Canadian wool producers like Briggs & Little to create beautiful, ethically-produced textiles and rugs. I
t’s Campaign for Wool Collection – created in collaboration with renowned interior designer Sarah Richardson and available ready to order – features three rich and luxurious designs: Highland, Hampton and Origin, inspired by the Scotland highlands, and English country garden and traditional macramé respectively.
Before the end of this year, Creative Matters will be launching a biodegradable, machine-made product for the hotel industry made from 100 per cent wool, intended as an alternative to traditional woven Axminster carpets that are 80 per cent wool, 20 per cent nylon.
“A lot of manmade fibres have crept into the picture and taken the attention off of wool,” said Cunningham. “So I’m glad we have this conversation happening around National Wool Week.”