Choosing the right carpet

Wool or polypropylene?

 With household budgets still under pressure a ‘tussle’ has developed when selecting carpet for the home. Should we opt for the well known benefits of a wool carpet or a less expensive polypropylene alternative?

Both have a rightful place in the market according to Cormar Carpets – but it is important that those wishing to buy a new carpet are aware of the different carpet characteristics and benefits.

“When times are tough and purse strings are tightened, it can be tempting to go for the least expensive flooring option,” says David Cormack, marketing director for Cormar Carpets. “But consumers should be aware that although cost is often the major driver, overall value and suitability for purpose must also be considered.

“How a carpet looks and performs is dependent on the fibre content used. It has a bearing on the durability, resilience, appearance retention, feel, practicality and price. Where in the home it is used is important too: talk to your local retailer about where you want your carpet to go and how long you expect it to last. A good reputable retailer will discuss the options with you and should clearly explain the benefits of one carpet over another.”

So what’s the difference between wool and polypropylene carpets?

Wool is an excellent natural fibre that has been used in carpets and rugs for centuries. It offers superb resilience to wear because of the inherent ability of the fibre to ‘bounce back’ and recover following the pressure of foot traffic – so retaining its looks over the years. Because of the characteristics of the fibre, it has a natural ability to resist general soiling and responds well to professional cleaning, bouncing back to life. Wool is mainly used on its own in a pure 100% form for loop pile carpets or in 80% wool blends with nylon and polypropylene in cut pile.

If you’re looking to carpet the heavier duty areas of the home such as the hall, stairs or landing then opt for a hard wearing practical carpet – like a wool mix blend – that maintains its appearance. It pays dividends to spend slightly more for heavier pile weight carpet (which incorporates more yarn on the pile surface), such as Cormar’s 60oz Town & Country collection.

For a 100% pure new wool option, look out for Avebury – a level loop pile manufactured using three-fold yarn, that is reminiscent of the traditional ‘brussels weave’ style carpet. This is available in 12 neutral tones as well five co-ordinating stripes (retailing at around £39 per sq m).

Alternatively, polypropylene is a great ‘family friendly’ fibre, generally costs less per square metre and is ideal for children’s bedrooms or playrooms where sticky fingers and spills are common. Cormar’s Easy Clean range of 100% polypropylene carpets are dirt and stain resistant and bleach cleanable with prices starting from £16 per sqm.

Bedroom carpets do not receive such regular use and therefore carpets with more luxurious qualities can be used. Try Cormar’s Sensation range in a 100% Luxelle PP, a polypropylene fibre that has been made to feel super soft and ultra-luxurious.

For living rooms or dining rooms consider either a wool mix (Forest Hills in 50% wool blend retails at a reasonable £20 per sq m) or a heavier weight polypropylene, such as Cormar’s Primo Ultra.

When looking for a carpet, here’s Cormar handy hints for choosing a wool or a polypropylene carpet:

Top benefits of wool carpet:

• Hard wearing and long lasting
• Retains its pile shape and height
• Recovers quickly from furniture compression
• Is naturally flame retardant
• Environmentally friendly and sustainable fibre

Top benefits of polypropylene carpet:

• Highly stain resistant
• Easy to clean
• Durable
• Good colour fastness
• Good value for money

Over one million customers choose Cormar Carpets every year. All Cormar ranges of carpet are made in the UK at their mills in Lancashire – look out for the British Made Logo on their carpet sampling. Cormar Carpets are available throughout the UK and Ireland – for stockist details visit

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