I receive many calls each week from consumers who complain that the rug they have purchased continues to “shed”. Some have even said that they have filled up their vacuum several time with this “fuzz” and wonder if they will have any carpet left in a few more months. The first thing I usually ask is what the carpet is made of, and sure enough it is always 100% wool. Furthermore, it is also a machine loomed (or power loomed) thick cut pile rug. Although I love wool because of its durability, it is difficult to assess the performance of any rug without comparing it to one of high quality. There is a test you can do in the home though.
Quality test: Perform this before you make the purchase. The purpose of this test is not so much to determine what type of wool your rug is made of but to check the quality. A fairly accurate test is the “agitation technique.” Take a firm and hard hand to the face of your carpet. In an approximately 1 square foot area, agitate the pile vigorously back and forth a dozen times with both the tips of your fingers and palm using heavy and steady pressure forward and backward lengthwise on the carpet (with and against the pile direction). FYI: “shedding” is a natural occurrence in many rugs. However, if your rug continues to shed for an extended period of time (several months or more) an inferior wool was most likely used in production or the knotting technique is inferior. This is NOT a defect, but rather a characteristic of your rug due to the price point.
Note: As a general rule, if your rug was purchased at a home improvement center or an mass producing outlet store, there is good possibility the wool is of lower quality. These mass produced rugs are lower in quality than the rugs you will find at a reputable rug dealer. In short, if you are buying a rug to collect, it would be a better investment of your money to purchase a fine quality “hand knotted” rug, but remember the price will be high for a rug that can last for generations.
For really in-depth information on rugs, go to Feizy Rugs and you may look at them differently.