Wool Hearth Rug 

Benefits Of Wool Hearth Rugs:

Used both as a decorative piece as well as a functional floor protector, a wool hearth rug will give your living space a beautiful focal point, as well as a barrier between falling embers and your floor.  If you have carpet or wood floors in the area surrounding your fireplace, you are risking not only damaging the material, but also catching your entire house on fire by not taking precautions.  Wool hearth rugs provide a natural flame retardant shield to protect your floors from embers, sparks, and ash that can escape from your fireplace.  Although wool is not completely fireproof, it ignites and burns much slower than other natural and synthetic fibers.  For example, cotton has an ignition point of 255 degrees Fahrenheit, while wool stands up to a staggering 600 degrees.  The result is a hearth rug that will not “catch fire.”  Instead, it will slowly smoulder and burn out protecting the floor below it.  

Wool hearth rugs also have many other advantages over synthetic materials.  Primarily, the fact that they are manufactured from naturally occurring materials makes them much more environmentally friendly.  Additionally, wool rugs have been known to last decades, sometimes as long as 30 years before showing significant wear.  The result is less synthetic polymer based products in landfills, and more money in your pocket in the long run.  Another benefit of using a wool hearth rug is the fact that they are extremely stain resistant.  Unlike other materials which absorb dirt, grime and soot into their fibers, wool naturally repels not only dirt and grime, but also liquid stains.  Because debris does not actually absorb into the fibers, cleaning can be accomplished with natural cleaning solutions or just plain water.

Hand Knotted Vs. Hand Tufted Wool Rugs:

Depending on your budget, and your expectation of quality, you may be wonder which manufacturing method produces a better rug.  The hand knotted process involves tying tens of thousands of knots in a frame until the size, color, and pattern of a rug is created.  This process can consume hundreds of hours of expert skill resulting in one of the highest quality rugs money can buy.  Hand tufted rugs are also made by hand, however a tool is used to “punch” yarn through a canvas with an additional piece of fabric being glued to the back to hold all of the fibers together.  Since this type of process is limited by the strength of the glue, it is not considered as well made as a hand knotted wool hearth rug.  

Wool Hearth Rug Shapes:

In general, wool hearth rugs come in one of three shapes.  All provide the same functionality so it is simply a matter of preference and covered floor space that determine the best shape for you:

Rectangle - A traditional rectangle shape is the most common type of wool rugs, although not necessarily designed for flame protection.  It gives symmetry, beauty, and functionality to the space in front of your hearth.  

Oval - Oval hearth rugs are generally used in front of wood burning stoves more than fireplace hearths because of their shape.  However as a decorative element, the oval shape can give a fireplace a feeling of elegance more than functionality.  You will often find these types of wool hearth rugs in the hand knotted braided style.  

Half Circle - Due in part to historical tradition, and part to taking up no more space than necessary, half circle wool hearth rugs are extremely popular.  They are great for drawing attention to your fireplace as the focal point of the room.