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Myths Surrounding "NATURAL" Carpets

Think carpets made from natural fibers are better than synthetic? This may not be the case...

Lots of people believe the myth that a carpet in the home is unhealthy, mainly because of the fact that the majority of carpet is made from synthetic fibers. This is simply not true, for many reasons.

Because of the misinformation regarding synthetic carpeting and the perceived danger, many believe that the "healthiest" and most environmentally sound carpets are made of natural fibers. If you're talking about hand-made wool carpets dyed with natural local minerals or plants, perhaps this is a true statement. But as German chemist Michael Braungart says, "God did not design the sheep to resist a red wine stain."

If anyone in your home has allergies, wool and other natural fibers should be avoided because mold can thrive in those types of carpet as opposed to synthetic carpets, which are designed to repel allergens in part due to the fact that they are non-organic and offer an inhospitable climate...meaning mold has nothing to eat and pollen dries out.

Natural dyes and natural fibers don't hold up well to heavy foot traffic and stains. So, manufacturers of these natural carpets introduced chemical dyes and stain resistant treatments. Once coated with these treatments, carpet made from natural fibers loses one of it's main attractive features from an environmental standpoint: biodegradability.

Also, the typical industrial production of natural fibers doesn't fit an idyllic, pastoral serenity. In the case of wool there is soil erosion and emissions from sheep and other impacts associated with livestock production. Then the wool must be "de-scaled" to be uniform enough for industrial manufacturing which is another chemical and energy intensive process.

In the end, industrial systems for natural carpet fiber must be managed carefully to avoid chemical exposure. All this, only to produce fiber that is no longer biodegradable or recyclable, as well as having serious performance issues in commercial environments.

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